Study connects decomposing body’s BMI to surrounding soil microbes

mSphere (2022). DOI: 10.1128/msphere.00325-22″ width=”800″ height=”529″/> During human decomposition, host-associated microbes, environmental microbes, insects, and scavengers work together to break down body tissues. Liquified decomposition products are flushed into soil where microbes respond to the influx and changes in soil chemistry. Antemortem conditions, such as body mass, age, diet, diseases, or drugs and other treatments, … Read more

Humans evolved with their microbiomes. Like genes, your gut microbes pass from one generation to the next

Credit: CC0 Public Domain When the first humans moved out of Africa, they carried their gut microbes with them. Turns out, these microbes also evolved along with them. The human gut microbiome is made up of hundreds to thousands of species of bacteria and archaea. Within a given species of microbe, different strains carry different … Read more

Researchers identify the microbes in 100-year-old snail guts

Rocky Mountain snails live at high altitudes at sites from Canada south to New Mexico. Credit: Bridget Chalifour On a drizzly day in July 1920, a Colorado named Junius Henderson was hiking scientist around the Dakota Hogback, a sandstone ridge north of Boulder. There, he spotted a group of Rocky Mountain snails (Oreohelix strigosa) oozing … Read more

Ancient microbes may help us find extraterrestrial life forms

Rendering of the process by which ancient microbes captured light with rhodopsin proteins. Credit: Sohail Wasif/UCR Using light-capturing proteins in living microbes, scientists have reconstructed what life was like for some of Earth’s earliest organisms. These efforts could help us recognize signs of life on other planets, whose atmospheres may more closely resemble our pre-oxygen … Read more

Giving metal to microbes could reduce greenhouse gas

Marsh wetland at Argonne National Laboratory. Credit: Jeffrey Catalano Like you and me, microbes need some metals in their diet to stay healthy. The metals help the microbes fully “digest” food. After a good meal, the microbes that gain energy by chemically reducing nitrate release a harmless byproduct: nitrogen, the gas that makes up 78% … Read more

Microbes enhance resilience of carbon-rich peatlands to warming

ORNL’s Alyssa Carrell and collaborators found that microbes can transfer heat tolerance to Sphagnum moss. Credit: Genevieve Martin/ORNL, US Dept. of Energy Microorganisms may provide hope that peatlands can withstand hotter temperatures in a changing climate, according to a study recently published in the New Phytologist. Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National … Read more

Self-cleaning spacecraft surfaces to combat microbes

Enabling & Support 05/23/2022 164 views 2 likes Astronauts live and work in orbit along with teeming populations of microorganisms, which could present a serious threat to health – and even the structural integrity of spacecraft. To help combat such invisible stowaways, an ESA-led project is developing microbe-killing coatings suitable for use within spacecraft cabins. … Read more

Soil microbes use different pathways to metabolize carbon

2 billowing from the chimney. Credit: Victor O. Leshyk, Center for Ecosystem Science and Society” width=”800″ height=”530″/> A new understanding of how soil communities metabolize carbon via different pathways is shown in a cutaway of a cell in the foreground, which contains a double helix figure mapping a pathway on a screen and enzyme “stations” … Read more

Fluid flow stimulates chemosynthesis in a ‘Greek salad’ of hydrothermal microbes

WHOI’s Phil Arevalo (left) and Stefan Sievert remove one of the incubation devices used to measure the activities of the chemosynthetic microbes from the sediment. The incubation devices were originally built in the 1980’s by WHOI’s Carl Wirsen and Holger Jannasch and were part of a free-falling instrument to measure the activities of microorganisms breaking … Read more