Report: Methane-producing microbes may be responsible for mass extinction

Evidence left at the crime scene is abundant and global: Fossil remains show that sometime around 252 million years ago, about 90 percent of all species on Earth were suddenly wiped out — by far the largest of this planet’s five known mass extinctions. But pinpointing the culprit has been difficult, and controversial.

How do microbes survive in freezing conditions?

Most microbial researchers grow their cells in petri-dishes to study how they respond to stress and damaging conditions. But, with the support of funding from NASA, researchers in LSU’s Department of Biological Sciences tried something almost unheard of: studying microbial survival in ice to understand how microorganisms could survive in ancient permafrost, or perhaps even buried in ice on Mars.

Scientists discover thriving colonies of microbes in ocean 'plastisphere'

Scientists have discovered a diverse multitude of microbes colonizing and thriving on flecks of plastic that have polluted the oceans—a vast new human-made flotilla of microbial communities that they have dubbed the "plastisphere."

Report: Microbes live more than 500 feet beneath the seafloor in 5 million-year-old sediment

Microbes are living more than 500 feet beneath the seafloor in 5 million-year-old sediment, according to new findings by researchers at the University of Delaware and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

Bacteria to power your gadgets

A technique that tethers bacteria to electrodes means your future gadget could be powered by microbes in the future.

Microbes are alive and well in the deepest ocean

An international research team has announced the first scientific results from one of the most inaccessible places on Earth.

Microbes change the taste of wine

Wine-lovers take note, scientists have found that it’s not only the vintage and type of grape that can affect the taste of your favourite tipple; the type of microbes present may play a role as well.  

Deforestation in Amazon is bad news for microbes

Scientists have found that deforestation not only affects the diversity of plants and animals, but is bad news for the forest’s microbes too.

Microbes piggy-back on dust clouds

A new study has found that many microbes are able to cross the Pacific Ocean on dust plumes.

Ancient ores give clue to early life

Microbes were munching on sulfate in the ocean as long as 2.7 billion years ago, influencing seawater chemistry.

Warm Martian water could have harbored microbes

Not only was there once water on Mars - some of it was warm enough to support life, an analysis of meteorites shows.

How much life is on Earth?

The total mass of all life on Earth is about one third less than thought, a new analysis has indicated.

Thousands of bacterial species live on every person

You're carrying around over 10,000 different species of bacteria in and on your body right now, in such numbers that they weigh several pounds.

Could these strange new microbes survive on Mars?

Scientists have discovered new types of organism living in one of the most inhospitable soils in the world - raising hopes that something similar could survive on Mars.

Martian asteroid craters could be refuge for life

The best place to look for life on Mars and other planets could be the impact craters of asteroids.

Implications unclear as ocean microbe balance changes

As the oceans warm, the microbes and plankton that live in them are set to be affected drastically - but scientists say they have no idea whether the changes will fuel climate change or work to counter it.

Obesity could be catching

Obesity could be - quite literally - contagious, say Yale scientists, who have discovered that it can be triggered by changes in microbes in the stomach.

Microbes found thriving in Mars-like conditions

The discovery of microbes in any icy lava tube in Oregon raises hope that similar microorganisms could survive in the very similar conditions to be found on Mars.

Team finds 'inexhaustible' source of energy

A couple of grains of salt could be all that's needed to help bacteria produce hydrogen from wastewater or organic byproducts.

Could microbes live in Martian brine?

A new million-dollar NASA project led by the University of Michigan aims to discover whether drops of salt water are common on Mars - and whether microbial life could survive in them.