Category Archives: Microbial Evolution and Diversity

Pioneer fungi start degrading dead wood before it hits the ground

Next time you go walking in a forest during the summer months, take a look up and see if you can spot any branches missing their leaves. It might not seem obvious at first, but you’re looking at a poorly … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Microbiology, Microbial Evolution and Diversity, Mycology | Leave a comment

Studying microbes in space

A new microbe has been discovered on the International Space Station. The species, Solibacillus kalamii, was isolated from an air filter on board the station, and is described in the Microbiology Society’s journal, IJSEM. In space, no one can hear … Continue reading

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Bacterial freeloaders: An unexpected mechanism of resistance

Bacteria are very good at evolving resistance to our drugs. Once all-powerful wonder-cures, antibiotics are steadily becoming less effective. If antibiotic resistance continues to spread, reports suggest that by 2050, 10 million people could die every year from infections we … Continue reading

Posted in Clinical and Medical Microbiology, Microbial Evolution and Diversity, Video | Tagged , | 2 Comments

You can’t stop an outbreak without breaking a few eggs

Last year, a paper from Microbial Genomics described how scientists used molecular detective work to get to the bottom of an outbreak across Europe. In June 2014, there was an outbreak of Salmonella at a hospital in Birmingham. Thirty-two people were affected, and … Continue reading

Posted in Clinical and Medical Microbiology, Food Microbiology, Microbial Evolution and Diversity | Tagged | 1 Comment

Drumming up disease? Anthrax and African drum hides

In 2006, a man in Scotland died from the first case of anthrax in Britain for 32 years. Then, in 2008, a man in London was fatally infected with the same disease. The properties of both men were sealed up … Continue reading

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New to science: May 2016

Each month, the Microbiology Society publishes the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM), which details newly discovered species of bacteria, fungi and protists. Here are a few of the new species that have been discovered and the places they’ve been … Continue reading

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Microbe Machines: How ‘souped-up’ bacterial motors produce more torque

Many bacteria have tiny motors inside them, which they use to zip around like miniature submarines. Recently, scientists have managed to image a diverse selection of these nanomachines in more detail than ever before, and gain fundamental insights into how … Continue reading

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