Articles on Microbes

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Without electrons there would be no electron microscopes, and therefore no close-ups like this image of pollen. Heiti Paves/Wikimedia Commons

Small world: does ecology reach all the way down to the subatomic scale?

The advent of electron microscopy and nanobiology has moved our appreciation of the living world to unprecedentedly small scales – with entirely new benefits and potential pitfalls to consider.
Betty Aneyumel from the Karamoja tribe rakes fermented millet to prepare a local alcoholic drink in Moroto, eastern Uganda. Reuters/Euan Denholm

What ancient African fermentation techniques reveal about probiotics

There's more to fermented foods than a good meal. Scientists are learning just how such foods encourage the growth of probiotics and how this keeps people healthy.
Surface oil slick from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Andreas Teske, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Can we harness bacteria to help clean up future oil spills?

Genetic analysis shows that marine bacteria broke down much of the oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. These findings could lead to more effective cleanups after future spills.
The world’s driest areas are tipped to get even drier, with potentially worrying implications for soil productivity.

If the world’s soils keep drying out that’s bad news for microbes (and people)

The world's 'drylands' – already home to 38% of the world's people – are set to dry out even more. And that could harm the soil microbes that keep soils healthy and help crops to grow.
They say you are what you eat, and we’re learning that a bad diet might mean bad moods and bad behaviour. from www.shutterstock.com.au

How your meal affects your mood

Your thoughts, moods and behaviours are the product of your brain. What you eat affects the chemicals in your brain, and thus your moods and behaviours.
Understanding microbial activity in rhizosphere – the critical zone where plant roots, microbes and minerals interface – is critical to promoting plant health. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Tapping the ‘plant microbiome’ to improve farming and plant health

People are increasingly aware of the link between the trillions of microbes that live within our bodies and human health. Studies have found that a healthy population of bacteria, or a microbiome, in a…

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