Longer Days Led to Oxygen Buildup on Early Earth: Study
Longer Days Led to Oxygen Buildup on Early Earth: Study
Researchers propose that some of the planet’s earliest photosynthesizers benefited from a slowing of the Earth’s rotation that allowed them to produce a surplus of oxygen and paved the way for more complex life.  
Longer Days Led to Oxygen Buildup on Early Earth: Study
Longer Days Led to Oxygen Buildup on Early Earth: Study

Researchers propose that some of the planet’s earliest photosynthesizers benefited from a slowing of the Earth’s rotation that allowed them to produce a surplus of oxygen and paved the way for more complex life.  

Researchers propose that some of the planet’s earliest photosynthesizers benefited from a slowing of the Earth’s rotation that allowed them to produce a surplus of oxygen and paved the way for more complex life.  

cyanobacteria
Some Viruses Use an Alternative Genetic Alphabet
Some Viruses Use an Alternative Genetic Alphabet
Abby Olena | Apr 29, 2021
In a trio of studies, researchers follow up on a 40-year-old finding that certain bacteriophages replace adenine with so-called diaminopurine, perhaps to avoid host degradation.
Bald Eagle Killer Identified
Bald Eagle Killer Identified
Abby Olena | Mar 25, 2021
After a nearly 30-year hunt, researchers have shown that a neurotoxin generated by cyanobacteria on invasive plants is responsible for eagle and waterbird deaths from vacuolar myelinopathy.
Nitrogen-Fixing Microbes Found in Antarctic Sea
Nitrogen-Fixing Microbes Found in Antarctic Sea
Shawna Williams | Oct 28, 2020
The discovery puts a nail in the coffin of a long-held assumption about the limits of where the essential process can occur.
Mass Elephant Die-Off Caused by Cyanobacteria, Officials Say
Mass Elephant Die-Off Caused by Cyanobacteria, Officials Say
Max Kozlov | Sep 23, 2020
Tests point to a toxic algal bloom that might have led to the unprecedented deaths of hundreds of African elephants in Botswana earlier this year, but the evidence isn’t conclusive.
Did Contaminated Water Exacerbate Brazilian Babies’ Zika Symptoms?
Did Contaminated Water Exacerbate Brazilian Babies’ Zika Symptoms?
Ashley Yeager | Jun 1, 2020
Elevated levels of a neurotoxin in northeastern Brazil’s drinking water and a high incidence of microcephaly in the region led scientists to look for a link, and they found one.
Image of the Day: Living Concrete
Image of the Day: Living Concrete
Emily Makowski | Jan 16, 2020
Bacteria and sand form a strong building material.
Blue-Green Algae Produce Methane
Blue-Green Algae Produce Methane
Ruth Williams | Jan 15, 2020
Biological production of this greenhouse gas, once thought to be the reserve of anaerobic microbes, occurs in these widespread, photosynthesizing cyanobacteria.
Image of the Day: Stowaway
Image of the Day: Stowaway
Chia-Yi Hou | Jun 26, 2019
Previously undetected cyanobacteria are symbionts of dinoflagellates.
Image of the Day: Multiple Choice
Image of the Day: Multiple Choice
Sukanya Charuchandra | Jun 19, 2018
Photosynthesis can happen in more than one way.  
Bright Lights and Bacteria Treat Rats’ Heart Attacks
Bright Lights and Bacteria Treat Rats’ Heart Attacks
Ruth Williams | Jun 14, 2017
Injecting photosynthetic microbes into oxygen-starved heart tissue can improve cardiac function in rodents. 
Sugar Time
Sugar Time
Catherine Offord | Mar 1, 2016
Metabolic activity, not light, drives the circadian clock in cyanobacteria.
Sighted Microbes
Sighted Microbes
Catherine Offord | Feb 9, 2016
Photosynthetic cyanobacteria sense light in much the same way as a human eyeball, scientists show.
Circadian Clock Transplant
Circadian Clock Transplant
Ruth Williams | Jun 12, 2015
Scientists establish a functional circadian rhythm in bacteria that don’t possess one naturally.
Dog’s Worst Friend
Dog’s Worst Friend
Nsikan Akpan | May 1, 2014
US dogs face a deadly threat from algae-spawned toxins lurking in lakes, but there may be an antidote.
Sea Otter’s Scourge
Sea Otter’s Scourge
Nsikan Akpan | Apr 30, 2014
A hidden toxin stalks marine mammals off the coast of California and kills dogs and cats farther inland.
Week in Review: April 21–25
Week in Review: April 21–25
Tracy Vence | Apr 25, 2014
Evolution of Y chromosome; delivering gene with “bionic ears”; diversity of an important cyanobacterium; charting genome-sequencing progress; blockbuster pharma deals
Microbe’s Diversity Is Vast, Ancient
Microbe’s Diversity Is Vast, Ancient
Kerry Grens | Apr 24, 2014
A marine cyanobacterium possesses astounding genomic diversity, yet still organizes into distinct subpopulations that have likely persisted for ages.
Microbes Expel Swarms of Vesicles
Microbes Expel Swarms of Vesicles
Kerry Grens | Jan 10, 2014
Scientists present the first evidence that marine cyanobacteria release vesicles—billions and billions of vesicles.
Genome Digest
Genome Digest
Tracy Vence | Oct 23, 2013
What researchers are learning as they sequence, map, and decode species’ genomes