DNA evidence allowed biologists to identify a new type of bacteria Taxonomy is the system biologists use to name living things. DNA evidence allows us to see how related living things are to one another, verifying (or changing!) the naming system.

Based on new DNA results, the researchers were able to provide better classification of cyanobacteria.

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

Antibiotic resistance is natural and it is everywhere Researchers have found bacteria with antibiotic resistance genes in Antarctic environments untouched by humans.

Antibiotic resistance is a major public health crisis worldwide as bacteria develop the ability to defend themselves against many, sometimes all, of the antibiotics we have at our disposal. Infections caused by these bacteria are often life-threatening. In order to READ MORE

Can Fish Help Us Understand Why We Age? Fish that age rapidly and fish that live extremely long lives are different in terms of the compounds present in their blood.

What exactly causes aging at a molecular level? The answer to this question is important for understanding and potentially improving health and life itself.  In order to begin to answer this question, researchers at the Institute of Biomedical Chemistry in READ MORE

Oxygen, nitrogen, and what happens when biology gets involved How the Great Oxidation Event and photosynthesis created the nitrogen cycle we know today

When studying Earth’s past, researchers want to understand how nutrients like nitrogen cycled and the impact biology had on them. Scientists rely on ancient rock, soil, fossils, and marine sediment to understand the world that used to be.  Approximately 2.5 READ MORE