What can sulfur-eating microbes teach us about life in extreme environments? Microbes living in an extreme environment hosted by a rock called serpentinite use a variety of sulfur compounds to gain energy and survive, which has implications for life that might exist elsewhere in our Universe.

Microbes on Earth have adapted to survive in some pretty extreme locations. The extreme dryness of deserts, high salinity in salt deposits, cold temperatures of glaciers, and even high pressures of the deep ocean don’t stop some life forms. Another READ MORE

More than decomposers: fungi influence the recovery of pollutants in the environment Researchers found a hidden selenium cycle tied to manganese oxide minerals made by common soil fungi.

Researchers found a hidden selenium cycle tied to manganese oxide minerals made by common soil fungi.

Microbe lasagna tells us about what life was like billions of years ago Layers of bacteria and rock leave their fingerprints behind by changing the kinds of carbon atoms we might find in the environment.

Sort of like a fossilized microbial lasagna, fossils called “stromatolites” are formed when layered communities of different types of bacteria trap sand, dirt, and debris in their structure over time. Stromatolites are found in rocks as old as 3.5 billion years, and containing the planet’s earliest life forms.

Bacteria from the Black Sea Have an Unusual Diet A new species of bacterium was discovered that lives off manganese and sulfur instead of oxygen or carbon dioxide

Many organisms live by breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide, and those that don’t often live by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. However, did you know that these aren’t the only ways life can survive? Researchers recently discovered Sulfurimonas marinigri, a species of bacteria that survives by taking in sulfur and manganese instead of oxygen and carbon. This method of survival has long been theorized, but could never be proven until now.

Contaminants in groundwater can take over 20 years to break down But scientists have a method for removing the contaminants more quickly, using a underground barrier.

Have you ever driven past an old factory building and wondered what ever happened to the harsh chemicals that were used there? If you guessed that a lot of the chemicals ended up in the environment, you would be right. READ MORE

A Special Kind of Bacteria Lets Cement Fix Itself Mineral-forming bacteria that grow best in fast-flowing liquid may be the glue that researchers need to close cracks in underground cement.

Cement is one of those common building materials that you can find just about anywhere. When the cement starts to get cracked, fixing it is generally an easy task that involves widening the crack slightly before filling it with more READ MORE

Mining with acid-generating bacteria Sulfuric acid production by sulfur-oxidizing bacteria may be a solution to a long standing mining problem.

Sulfuric acid production by sulfur-oxidizing bacteria may be a solution to a long standing mining problem.

Dying Coral Reefs are Springing Forward with New Life Researchers look at the mix of bacteria that established themselves within damaged coral reefs.

Our coral reef ecosystems, often called “underwater rainforests,” are quickly changing. Coral reefs are elaborate and complex ecosystems and even though they make up only a small fraction of the ocean, they contain 25% of all marine life. Reefs are READ MORE