Bacteria (singular: bacterium) is a type of biological cell. They constitute a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a number of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals. Bacteria were among the first life forms to appear on Earth, and are present in most of its habitats. Bacteria inhabit soil, water, acidic hot springs, radioactive waste, and the deep portions of Earth's crust. Bacteria also live in symbiotic and parasitic relationships with plants and animals. Most bacteria have not been characterized, and only about half of the bacterial phyla have species that can be grown in the laboratory. The study of bacteria is known as bacteriology, a branch of microbiology. Read more ...

In the News ...

The fungal threat to human health is growing in a warmer, wetter, sicker world   BBC - February 7, 2023
In the HBO show “The Last of Us,” characters identify zombies among them by the fungi that bursts from their bodies, and fungal parasites manipulate the humans to infect the communities around them. In real life, the fungal species that inspired the story, Ophiocordyceps, infects insects and does not cause problems for people.

New Vaccine Against Fatal Fungi Hopes To Be First Of Its Kind   IFL Science - February 7, 2023
Scientists are developing a vaccine they hope could be the first immunization to fight against invasive fungal infections. While it has only been tested on animals so far, the research could eventually pave the way toward a broad-spectrum vaccine that could tackle the growing threat of drug-resistant fungi.

Scientists Revive 48,500-Year-Old Virus, Setting World Record. As temperatures rise because of climate change, melting permafrost could cause dormant diseases to re-emerge, researchers warn   Smithsonian - December 2, 2022

Study Suggests Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Could Be More Devious Than We Thought   Science Alert - November 29, 2022
Bacteria are known to travel around the human body using routes we know little about, yet it's rare to find a case study where an infection spreads in a clear-cut way. The case in Spain is an exception worth noting. The patient was admitted to an intensive care unit in the municipality of Badalona following a seizure. For 39 days, they were mechanically ventilated while doctors used antibiotics to fight off an infection in their lower airways. On day one, the patient's lungs had shown evidence of a bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa - a common infection in the lungs, urinary tract, and gut - and it was suspected the patient had accidentally breathed in food, saliva, or vomit, possibly during their seizure or following ventilation.

Rapidly Melting Glaciers Are Releasing a Staggering Payload of Unknown Bacteria   Science Alert - November 24, 2022
Fast-melting glaciers are releasing staggering amounts of bacteria into rivers and streams, which could transform icy ecosystems, scientists warn. In a study of glacial runoff from 10 sites across the Northern Hemisphere, researchers have estimated that continued global warming over the next 80 years could release hundreds of thousands of tonnes of bacteria into environments downstream of receding glaciers.

Scientists Revived Ancient 'Zombie Viruses' Frozen For Eons in Siberia   Science Alert - November 25, 2022

300 Years of Research: Princeton Scientists Solve a Bacterial Mystery   Scitech - November 18, 2022
Unexpectedly scientists discovered that the growth of the wild colonies consistently resembles other natural phenomena like the growth of crystals or the spread of frost on a windowpane.

Extinct Pathogens Along With Climate Change Ushered The Fall of Ancient Civilizations   Science Alert - August 6, 2022

Research reveals that bacteria too have internal clocks that align with the 24-hour cycle of life on Earth   PhysOrg - January 8, 2021
The research answers a long-standing biological question and could have implications for the timing of drug delivery, biotechnology, and how we develop timely solutions for crop protection. Biological clocks or circadian rhythms are exquisite internal timing mechanisms that are widespread across nature enabling living organisms to cope with the major changes that occur from day to night, even across seasons. Existing inside cells, these molecular rhythms use external cues such as daylight and temperature to synchronize biological clocks to their environment. It is why we experience the jarring effects of jet lag as our internal clocks are temporarily mismatched before aligning to the new cycle of light and dark at our travel destination.

Bacteria found in soil may harbor a potential game-changer for drug design   PhysOrg - June 18, 2018
The new study by Scripps Research suggests scientists could build better drugs by learning from bacteria-derived molecules called thiocarboxylic acids. Taking a closer look ...