People wearing different types of black and white clothes sit and stand among orange and yellow seats on the New York subway

New research can ‘fingerprint’ a city’s ecosystem to better understand the microbes within it


Studies found that cities closer to the ocean have more marine microbes within their transit systems, while those near parks have more plant microbes.

Documentary questions whether FBI ID’d right suspect in anthrax attack

Global Politics
Frog chytrid fungus

‘Good’ bacteria could save amphibians hit by fungal diseases

Biofilm imaging

Bacterial ‘Hunger Games’ could help in the fight against infectious diseases

CRISPR is different from other gene editing techniques. It emerged from basic research into how bacteria fight off infections. Scientists realized they could use CRISPR to identify and cut apart specific DNA sequences in any cell.

A promising gene editing method causes ethical controversy

Allen Leonard, research associate with Texas A&M AgriLife Research, uses a custom spray rig to apply herbicide to Roundup Ready alfalfa test plots.

Weed-killing sprays may also be killing our ability to fight bacteria


Penicillin overkill has created life-threatening bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. But now some new research shows that common herbicides used in farming can also breed resistant bacteria, and no one’s sure how that may affect humans.

Microscopic synthetic structures are specially shaped objects that perform or move in intended ways when acted on by swarms of bacteria.

The dawn of the cyborg bacteria is here


It might be, but at a tiny level: Scientists at UPenn are working on using bacteria to control small synthetic structures, hoping to one day use them to deliver highly targeted doses of medicine. And don’t worry about the apocalypse: They still can’t defeat a bottle of bleach.

Sediment from a stream bed containing fracking wastewater (jars on the left) developed orange residues after 90 days; sediment from a clean stream bed (jar on the right) did not.

As fracking booms, waste spills rise — and so do arsenic levels in groundwater


Wastewater created by fracking contains many toxic elements and chemicals that can contaminate groundwater. The good news? Microbes in the soil feast on the metals and help clean up the spill. The bad news? This process can release high levels of arsenic into the groundwater.

bacterial nanowires

‘Bacterial nanowires’ may lead to breakthroughs in semiconductors, fuel cells and more


When certain cells are deprived of oxygen, they do surprising things — including morphing part of themselves into a long wire and breathing rocks. It may sound weird, but it’s true, and it could help develop new technologies.

Gut and Brain

Bacteria in our gut may influence both our physical and mental health


The bacteria in your gut may be telling you something important — and influencing how you think and feel. And they may even have a link to autism. Is it time to pay closer attention?