biology

Gardener Claims He Hasn't Watered This Flourishing Biosphere Since 1972

If you can’t raise a plant to save your life you know the appeal of terrariums, which can sustain themselves for months on end without being watered. But a retiree in the UK says he sealed up his bottle garden in 1972 — and hasn’t watered it since.


What Happens To Bacteria In Space?

In the otherwise barren space 350km above Earth’s surface, a capsule of life-sustaining oxygen and water orbits at 27,000km/h. You might know this capsule as the International Space Station (ISS), currently home to six humans — and untold billions of bacteria. Microbes have always followed us to the frontiers, but it’s only now that scientists at NASA and elsewhere are seriously investigating what happens when we bring Earth’s microbes into space.


This Amoeba Eats Human Intestines, Cell By Cell

It might look positively adorable in this image, but don’t be fooled: this pathogen, known as Entamoeba histolytica, eats human intestines alive, cell by cell.


Nanoparticles In Consumer Products Could Be Damaging Your DNA

Masses of products — from cosmetics to clothing — now contain nanoparticles, to kill microbes, lengthen shelf life or provide other wonderful properties. But new research from MIT and Harvard suggests they could also be damaging your DNA.


First Ever Lab-Grown Muscle That Can Heal Itself In Living Creatures

Anyone who’s ever torn a muscle will be grateful for that fact that the fibres can repair themselves. But now researchers have developed lab-grown muscle that can achieve the exact same thing.


4 Ways Tiny Microbes Changed Life On Earth Forever

This is the microbes’ world — we just live in it. Throughout the history of Earth, microbes have radically reshaped life on the planet, from creating the very air we breath to wiping out almost all life on Earth. Don’t underestimate the power of tiny, tiny microbes populating the Earth trillions of times over.


Stem Cell Researchers Just Figured Out How To Create New Embryos

A team of researchers from the University of Virginia just made scientific history: They figured out how to turn stem cells into full blown fish embryos. In other words, scientists can now control embryonic development, a key to being able to grow organs and even entire organism from stem cells.


Does The Donor's DNA Integrate Into The Host During A Transplant?

Depending on the type of donation, the DNA stays for a short time, a long while — or maybe even forever.


Molten Lava Fossilised This Plant Down To Its Single Cells

When this Jurassic plant was smothered in molten lava one hundred and eighty million years ago, it was almost instantly fossilised — in incredible cellular detail. In fact, the fern — seen here in cross section through the stem — was preserved right down to the level of chromosomes, which can be seen frozen in the process of cell division.


This Amazing Flexible Heart Cover Could Replace Pacemakers For Good

This amazing 3D piece of silicone dotted with electronics looks like something out of the future — because it is. In fact, this potential pacemaker replacement fits over the human heart and is capable of monitoring and, soon, responding to, its vital signs.