Loading page

This Smartphone Microscope Lets You Play Games With Microbes

Introducing the LudusScope, a 3D-printed, open-sourced system that lets you control and play games with living microbes on your smartphone. Tormenting single-celled organisms has never been so much fun.

We've Been Wrong About Lichen For 150 Years

Hundreds of millions of years ago, a tiny green microbe joined forces with a fungus, and together they conquered the world. It’s a tale of two cross-kingdom organisms, one providing food and the one other shelter, and it’s been our touchstone example of symbiosis for 150 years. The trouble is, that story is nowhere near complete.

7 Foods And Beverages Made Using Ingredients From The Human Body

While eating human flesh may be the ultimate taboo, human microbes, saliva, and even hair have been integral to the making of certain food and beverages. From traditional brews to culinary concept art, here are seven edibles that started, in part, inside the human body.

New Trick Helps Winemakers Figure Out Which Microbes Make Good Wine

Winemaking is always an exercise in uncertainty. You don’t really know just what the wine will taste like until the very end of the process, which is sometimes decades long. A new technique, however, could help predict what wine will taste like before it’s even made.

This Little Bot Walks On Water And Runs On Bacteria

Here’s a way to make environmental cleanup more fun: Next time you’ve got a polluted waterway, just unleash a swarm of tiny, bacteria-nomming robots on it.

Why Scientists Have Been Scared Of Space Germs For Almost 50 Years

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty was one of the few things the US and the Soviet Union managed to agree on at the height of the Cold War. Among other things, it forbid both nations from bringing space microbes back to Earth, or spreading Earth germs to other planets.

Meanwhile In The Future: When Antiobiotics Stop Working

This week’s episode of Meanwhile in the Future gets very scary, very quickly. And we’re not going all that far into the future, either. We’re already starting to see the beginnings of an age without antibiotics. So what does a world without these drugs look like? Listen to find out.

Chlorine Treatment Can Accelerate Antibiotic Resistance, Study Says

As anyone who’s ever owned a pet fish or gone to a public swimming pool knows, chlorine is commonly used to disinfect water. Ironically, when it comes to sewage treatment, it may be doing just the opposite.

Ancient Microbes May Have Created The World's Largest Gold Mines

Nearly half the gold ever mined comes from the Witwatersrand Basin, a layer of gold-flecked rock that spreads out under South Africa. The mines there are famously deep and prolific. Why is there so much gold concentrated in this one small part of the Earth’s crust?

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.

Loading page