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.
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.
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
Sulfuric acid production by sulfur-oxidizing bacteria may be a solution to a long standing mining problem.
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 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
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
Have you ever raised monarch butterflies? Finding eggs on milkweed plants and bringing them indoors to protect them from predators while at the same time watching the beauty of their transformation is a common childhood experience for people in North READ MORE
The oceans are warming due to climate change and this will impact all oceanic life, from the smallest plankton to the largest tuna. The web of life in the ocean is complex, and so exactly which ecosystems will be affected READ MORE
Yellowstone National Park is famous for its hot springs, geysers, wildlife, and incredible geology. While the area is popular among visitors every year, scientists are also excited about the hot springs at this site as they create unique habitats for READ MORE