The oldest living thing in the world: These actinobacteria, recovered from the subterranean brrrrr-osphere that is Siberian permafrost, are estimated to be 500,000 years old. While many ancient microbes have been revived from ancient dormant states, these bacterial cells have been continuously living for half a million years. It’s known that the bacteria aren’t mobile in the frozen Earth, so by radioactively dating the layers of soil around the microbes, scientists were able to estimate their age.
Unable to divide and reproduce, these microbes were shown to be actively repairing their DNA despite the frigid temperatures, their enzymes uniquely adapted to an environment that would mean certain death for perhaps every other creature on Earth. While not growing, moving, or reproducing, this sort of cryostasis counts as living if you ask me (and the scientists who study them).
What do you think this means for the possibility of life on other planets?
(via Rachel Sussman and Brain Pickings. Check out the original 2007 research paper here)
FSA survey data indicates that socio-demographic variables such as age, gender and ethnicity are associated with reported food safety practices, but socio-economic variables such as income, education and housing tenure, are not.
This was the only category of incidents that have been consistently increasing over time, from 147 in 2006 to 322 in 2013. In 2013, more than 30% of microbiological contamination incidents were due to salmonella.
New research published today by the Food Standards Agency gives the most detailed picture yet of how many people suffer from food poisoning in the UK every year and how much food poisoning can be attributed to different foods.
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have made a breakthrough in the race to solve antibiotic resistance. New research published Wednesday in the journal Nature reveals an Achilles’ heel in the defensive barrier which surrounds drug-resistant bacterial cells.
Once upon a slide…the first microbiology book for 5 year olds!
At last! No more bed time fairy tales about damsels in distress, princesses in pink and knights in white shining armor.
Move over Disney. This is a world we should be opening our kids up to. Steeped in reality. A world 1000x more exciting than those lands too far far far away, and it is all playing out under our very noses, inside our refrigerators, outside our back doors and throughout our own bodies.
Thank you to Nicola Davies (author) and Emily Sutton (illustrator) for this beautiful non-fiction children’s book that introduces young readers to microscopy.
I can’t wait to buy this for my nieces.
Let me know if you need help with the histological sequel ;)
View more of Emily’s beautiful artwork at her website
Find out more about award winning author Nicola at her blog/website
Images and book (ISBN:1406341045) seen at amazon.com and via Walker Books
by Maddie Stone | When most people look at soil, they just see dirt. When I look at soil, I see billions of microorganisms crawling atop one another, consuming the dead in a feasting frenzy that stops for nothing save a deep freeze. I see microbes and their enzymes, the digestive juices that break…
Parents have a big influence on their children’s food hygiene habits, according to a survey by the Food Standards Agency. The results show a link between how people currently prepare their food and the behaviours they experienced when they were kids.