Artist’s impression of Schiaparelli landing.
ESA's second mission to Mars has become prey to the curse of the Red Planet – although the orbiter is heading for success, the Schiaparelli lander seems to have disappeared.
Ion microscope image of ancient (probably fungal) structures in rock.
Rocks on Mars are surprisingly similar to those on Earth.
There are downsides to clean hands.
Food poisoning or allergies – which to go for.
Composite image of suspected water vapour plumes erupting at the seven o’clock position off the limb of Jupiter’s moon Europa.
There's now strong evidence that Europa might be a worthwhile place to search for life.
Researchers at several institutions are searching for microbial solutions for Africa’s low-performing staple crops.
Microbial-based solutions are perhaps the best-kept secret in agricultural innovation.
Without electrons there would be no electron microscopes, and therefore no close-ups like this image of pollen.
Heiti Paves/Wikimedia Commons
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.
Fleas get a free ride - and there’s not much in it for the dog.
Do you know your parasites from your gut commensals? Read this and you will.
Betty Aneyumel from the Karamoja tribe rakes fermented millet to prepare a local alcoholic drink in Moroto, eastern Uganda.
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.
Microbes can survive in the frozen coastal desert soils of Antarctica’s Miers Valley.
Microbes have the ability to survive in extremely hot and cold conditions. This makes them invaluable tools for research: they can teach us how life has evolved and how we survive.
Surface oil slick from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Andreas Teske, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
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.
Nice to see you: parrotfishes prey on seaweed, which consume seaweeds that can outcompete, smother or even poison corals.
A combination of factors – pollution, disease and overfishing – is harming corals but scientists have found clues to effective treatment by studying corals' microbiome.
Many of us spend our working lives in offices - but few of us are familiar with the other life forms that share our desks.
How microbes are the key ingredients when it comes to concocting a gourmet menu.
The world’s driest areas are tipped to get even drier, with potentially worrying implications for soil productivity.
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.
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.
Tens of millions of smallholder farmers across sub-Saharan Africa have a stake in improving the health of the soil their cattle graze on.
Africa’s soil crisis calls for quick and creative action. This includes deepening farmers' knowledge about soil microbes.
Between a rock and a hard place.
Scientists have figured out how microbes may have found food when trapped beneath ice for millions of years.
Will Cassini find evidence of microbial life in the plumes from Enceladus? A new study has made it a whole lot easier.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Study pinpoints some of the chemical signs of microbial life on Enceladus. The study could in part be corroborated by Cassini's flyby of the moon.
Lush rainforest above ground… spare a thought for what’s happening in the soil.
It’s no exaggeration to say the tropics drive our planet’s carbon cycle – the constant transfer of carbon back and forth, on a global scale, between living things and the environment. Understanding the…
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
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…