Translucent, red-orange organs are shown inside a person’s transparent, blue torso. One region zooms in on blue lung alveoli covered by bright orange microbes.
Bacteria in the Lungs Can Regulate Autoimmunity in Rat Brains
Making specific alterations to the bacterial population in a rat’s lungs either better protects the animals against multiple sclerosis–like symptoms or makes them more vulnerable, a study finds—the first demonstration of a lung-brain axis.
ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, DR_MICROBE
Bacteria in the Lungs Can Regulate Autoimmunity in Rat Brains
Bacteria in the Lungs Can Regulate Autoimmunity in Rat Brains

Making specific alterations to the bacterial population in a rat’s lungs either better protects the animals against multiple sclerosis–like symptoms or makes them more vulnerable, a study finds—the first demonstration of a lung-brain axis.

Making specific alterations to the bacterial population in a rat’s lungs either better protects the animals against multiple sclerosis–like symptoms or makes them more vulnerable, a study finds—the first demonstration of a lung-brain axis.

ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, DR_MICROBE

microbes

Photo of Romaine River in Quebec
Microbial Analysis of River Reveals Considerable Diversity
Annie Melchor | Mar 1, 2022
Scientists in Canada trace how aquatic communities change as Quebec’s Romaine River flows into the sea.
Fish in a big blue aquarium
Microbes Responsible for Stealing Aquarium Medicine
Amanda Heidt | Feb 1, 2022
Researchers discover that bacteria break down medicinal compounds for their nitrogen, solving a mystery that has vexed aquatic veterinarians for years.
A Connected Community: The Rise of Microbiome Research
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Apr 30, 2021
Explore how microbes shape health, disease, and the world beyond
a vial of cobra venom and a bacteri-covered agar plate
Study Questions Sterility of Snake and Spider Venoms
Christie Wilcox | Jan 31, 2022
In work that has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers present evidence that microbes can and do live inside the venom glands of several dangerous species. It remains unclear whether they’re to blame for infections linked to bites.
small striped mammal
Gut Microbes Help Ground Squirrels Endure Hibernation
Alejandra Manjarrez | Jan 27, 2022
By breaking down urea, the animals’ gut bacteria recycle nitrogen, which can be then used to build new molecules during prolonged fasting.
Virus Hunters: Searching for Therapeutic Phages in a Drug Resistant World
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Sep 21, 2020
Researchers Jason Gill and Paul Turner will discuss their work on bacteriophage therapy to treat drug resistant bacterial infections.
microscope image of methaotrophs with black specks
Deep Sea Microbes Produce Graphite-like Carbon
Chloe Tenn | Nov 11, 2021
The first evidence of biologically produced elemental carbon inspires more questions than answers.  
illustration of colorful microbes inside a person's stomach and intestines
How Commensal Gut Bacteria Keep Pathogens in Check
Alejandra Manjarrez | Oct 14, 2021
Recent studies describe how resident microbiota appear to outcompete unwelcome visitors, either with superior weaponry or by guzzling up local resources.  
A Little Help From My Friends: Lessons Learned From Microbiome Metagenomics
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Jul 2, 2020
Heather Jordan and Jennifer Wargo will discuss how metagenomics studies help uncover new and medically relevant functions of the human microbiome.
A purple bulge of microbes on the bottom of a lake
Longer Days Led to Oxygen Buildup on Early Earth: Study
Amanda Heidt | Aug 3, 2021
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.  
Microbial Fossils Found in 3.4-Billion-Year-Old Subseafloor Rock
Ruth Williams | Jul 14, 2021
The material, now part of an African mountain range, bolsters the idea that hydrothermal veins supported early forms of life.
The Scientist Speaks Podcast – Episode 4
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Apr 28, 2020
Hidden Hitchhikers: Lessons Learned from The Human Microbiome Project
An illustration of several DNA helices on a light red water color background
Human Blood Harbors Cell-Free Microbial DNA
Abby Olena | Jul 9, 2021
After controlling for high levels of bacterial contamination in their lab and reagents, researchers detect microbial genetic material in plasma samples from healthy people and cancer patients.
Cicada nymph on a tree, shedding its exoskeleton
Scientists Go Down the Cicada Hole
Lisa Winter | Jun 24, 2021
Brood X’s emergence tunnels—numbering in the hundreds per square meter of soil—give researchers a special opportunity to study how such extreme soil aeration affects the ecosystem.
A scanning electron micrograph of a fetal gut, pseudocolored in yellow and blue
Microbes in Human Fetuses Spur Immune Development
Abby Olena | Jun 3, 2021
Researchers identify live bacteria in fetal guts, skin, lungs, and placentas that activate memory T cells, indicating that early exposure to microbes could help educate the developing immune system.
A black line drawing of a mother putting a face mask on a child with a white background
SARS-CoV-2 Antigens Leaking from Gut to Blood Might Trigger MIS-C
Alejandra Manjarrez | Jun 3, 2021
Researchers find traces of SARS-CoV-2 in the stool and blood of kids with the post–COVID-19 inflammatory disorder, and signs of increased intestinal permeability.
Calcite crystals covered in small grains of pyrite, with pincers
Signs of Ancient Microbial Life Abundant in Earth’s Crust: Study
Catherine Offord | Jun 3, 2021
Researchers report chemical and molecular signatures of microbial activity from millions of years ago in mineral samples from abandoned mines in Sweden and nearby countries.
A boat, the Tara, sailing past an island in Patagonia, Chile
Sailing the Seas in Search of Microbes
Shawna Williams | Jun 1, 2021
Projects aimed at collecting big data about the ocean’s tiniest life forms continue to expand our view of the seas.
A person wearing a purple glove holds out a blue pill
Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Is Poised for a Makeover
Shawna Williams | Jun 1, 2021
With multiple microbiota therapeutics in the pipeline for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection, clinicians foresee a shift in treatment options for the condition.