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

Soil abounds with life and supports all life above it. But Australian soils need urgent repair

by Adam Frew, Christina Birnbaum, Eleonora Egidi and Meike Katharina Heuck, The Conversation Intensive farming methods can destroy underground fungal networks. Credit: Shutterstock Under your feet lies the most biodiverse habitat on Earth. The soil on which we walk supports the majority of life on the planet. Without the life in it, it wouldn’t be … Read more

Study finds that tomatoes, but not farm workers or gardeners, are safe from soil lead

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Urban agriculture is booming, but there’s often a hidden danger lurking in city soils: lead. A recent University of Illinois study showed universally elevated lead levels in soils across Chicago, an urban ag hotspot. Scientists don’t know much about how vegetables and other crops take up and accumulate lead in real-world … Read more

How simulations could help get PFAS out of soil

There are many ways PFAS can enter the environment, all of which increase the odds of finding these chemicals in our food or water. Credit: Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Michigan State University chemists are discovering new information to help remediate “forever chemicals” by showing for the first time how they interact … 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

How a soil microbe could rev up artificial photosynthesis

A close-up look at Kitasatospora setae, a bacterium isolated from soil in Japan. These bacteria fix carbon—turn carbon dioxide from their environment into biomolecules they need to survive—thanks to enzymes called ECRs. Researchers are looking for ways to harness and improve ECRs for artificial photosynthesis to produce fuels, antibiotics and other products. Credit: Y. Takahashi … Read more