Category Archives: Microbial Evolution and Diversity

Best of the blog 2015

Given that it’s almost time to say goodbye to 2015 and wave hello to 2016, it seems like the right moment to have a look back at some of the posts we’ve had on the blog and reflect on what … Continue reading

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Antibiotics: weapons or signals?

Bacteria and fungi have naturally been producing antibiotics for millions of years. Over the last century, we have been able to harness the power of these compounds for our own uses to treat infections. But what are antibiotics actually used … Continue reading

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Deadlier than Darth: Death by worm-star

If you happen to be a nematode, worm-stars are probably your worst nightmare. One minute, you’re swimming around minding your own business. The next, you’ve been sucked into a wildly thrashing mass of your peers, all stuck to each other … Continue reading

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Conflict and cooperation in bacterial communities

Like humans, bacteria in nature often live in communities. New research studying the interactions within these microbial communities shows how bacteria can cooperate with each other to resolve a form of social conflict. Many bacteria live stuck together on surfaces, … Continue reading

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Q&A: Professor Jeff Errington

Next month, Society member Professor Jeff Errington FRS will be awarded the prestigious Leeuwenhoek Medal by the Royal Society. The award, named after pioneering Dutch microscopist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, is awarded triennially and recognises excellence in the fields of bacteriology, … Continue reading

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Best of the blog 2014

It’s almost time for us to say goodbye to 2014 and wave a big hello to 2015. Before we do, it seems like the right moment to reflect on the amazing year we’ve had here on Microbe Post. I hope … Continue reading

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The right place at the right time: new bacterium navigates using Earth’s magnetic field

Many migratory birds have a mysterious ability to return home with remarkable accuracy, even from halfway around the world. Since the invention of the compass some 2,000 years ago, humans have been able to emulate this, albeit on a limited … Continue reading

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UK Fungus Day 2014

12 October is UK Fungus Day, held by the British Mycological Society to showcase the diversity and usefulness of fungi, and the benefits of mycology (the study of fungi). Continue reading

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Nitrososphaera viennensis: a new species, genus, family, order and class of soil-dwelling archaea

When a new species of microbe is discovered, it often fits into a known genus, forming a new outermost branch in the tree of life. Sometimes, though, organisms are discovered with DNA sufficiently different from all known species that they … Continue reading

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NASA, the Spacecraft Assembly Facility, and the extremotolerant bacteria

If you’re sending a probe to another planet, how can you ensure that there are no microbes hitching a lift? I spoke to Dr Parag Vaishampayan from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena about this, and a discovery he … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Microbiology, Microbial Evolution and Diversity | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments