Magical fairytale forest. Coniferous forest covered of green moss. Mystic atmosphere.
The Unusual Functions of Geosmin
The compounds responsible for the earthy smell of recent rain are produced by a wide variety of bacteria and fungi. Recent research sheds light on why microbes bother.
The Unusual Functions of Geosmin
The Unusual Functions of Geosmin

The compounds responsible for the earthy smell of recent rain are produced by a wide variety of bacteria and fungi. Recent research sheds light on why microbes bother.

The compounds responsible for the earthy smell of recent rain are produced by a wide variety of bacteria and fungi. Recent research sheds light on why microbes bother.

bacterial communication
A side-by-side illustration of bacterial nanotubes, conjugative pili, and type 3 secretion systems such as injectisomes and flagella
Infographic: What Are Bacterial Nanotubes?
Sruthi S. Balakrishnan | Jun 1, 2021
Unlike other cellular appendages, bacterial nanotubes are made solely of lipids and can connect the cytoplasm of different microbial species.
A scanning electron micrograph of a coculture of E. coli and Acinetobacter baylyi. Nanotubes can be seen extending from the E. coli.
What’s the Deal with Bacterial Nanotubes?
Sruthi S. Balakrishnan | Jun 1, 2021
Several labs have reported the formation of bacterial nanotubes under different, often contrasting conditions. What are these structures and why are they so hard to reproduce?
An illustration of a flask of bacteria, a weighted microscope slide, and two bacteria exchanging materials via nanotubes.
Infographic: Sources of Variation in Bacterial Nanotube Studies
Sruthi S. Balakrishnan | Jun 1, 2021
Differences in how researchers prepare and image samples can lead to discrepancies in their results.
Our Pets May Harbor Much More Than Coronavirus
Ashley Yeager | Jul 13, 2020
While concern over SARS-CoV-2 in dogs and cats has captured attention, scientists have also been investigating whether pets can transmit multidrug-resistant bacteria to us.
Competition and Cooperation of Cheese Rind Microbes Exposed
Ashley Yeager | Jan 1, 2019
Transposon mutagenesis give scientists a rare look at the most important interactions within microbial communities.
Rotem Sorek Searches for Bacteria’s Defenses Against Viruses
Sukanya Charuchandra | Oct 1, 2018
Using his expertise in microbiology and bioinformatics, he is bringing a new understanding to microbial immune systems.
Show Me Your Moves
Marissa Fessenden | May 1, 2015
Updated classics and new techniques help microbiologists get up close and quantitative.
Visualizing the Vibe
Jyoti Madhusoodanan | Oct 1, 2014
Retrieving sound from video recordings of inanimate objects can have surprising applications.
Behavior Brief
Chris Palmer | Aug 5, 2013
A round-up of recent discoveries in behavior research
Contributors
Kate Yandell | May 1, 2013
Meet some of the people featured in the May 2013 issue of The Scientist.