Microbial Ecology

Category archives for Microbial Ecology

[This question was originally asked on www.reddit.com/r/askscience on Jan 17, 2013] Why do microorganisms only begin breaking down our tissues after death? What stops them from doing so whilst we are still alive? The main reason is that our body maintains a multitude of barriers that largely prevent bacteria and other microorganisms from gaining entry.…

In the wake of the NASA excitement over the new arsenic study, and my promise to give a detailed review of the paper itself, I have recruited a colleague with strong opinons about the work, a solid chemistry and microbiology background, and “Dr.” in front of his name to share his analysis. I will be…

Arsenic it is… but the point really isn’t arsenic. That is what Dr. Felisa Wolfe-Simon stressed at the end of the NASA press conference today – that the research being unveiled is just opening the door to other unexamined possibilities for life. She said “I am interested in exceptions, why aren’t things constants in nature?”…

Probing the depths of the biosphere

Rarely do I read papers whose title really sums up exactly what is so cool about the study in a succinct way, free of jargon. I think that “First Investigation of the Microbiology of the Deepest Layer of Ocean Crust” does just that. It isn’t trying to be sexy… it just is! Examining the microbial…