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Can You Get a Disease From a Toilet Seat? Can You Get a Disease From a Toilet Seat?

The world is filled with disgusting toilets. You might personally prefer toilets that smell okay and aren’t covered in filth, but try telling that to whichever organs are involved in making you really need to use the bathroom. It has happened before, and it will happen again: you’ll be at a public bus station, or a…

Chimp Beds Are Way Less Filthy Than Human Beds Chimp Beds Are Way Less Filthy Than Human Beds

In a twist that rivals cinema’s best, a new study published Tuesday in Royal Society Open Science suggests a horrible truth: We’ve been the damn dirty apes all along. It found that beds made by one of our closest primate relatives, chimpanzees, contain little personal filth, meaning germs and parasites from their own…

Humans, Not Rats, May Have Been Responsible for Spreading the Black Death Humans, Not Rats, May Have Been Responsible for Spreading the Black Death

The Black Death, a plague responsible for killing around a third of the population of Europe during the 14th century, spread to millions of humans by rats that carried infected fleas—right? That’s the story we’ve long been told by historians. A new study upends this conventional thinking, showing that humans, and not…

Stop Feeding Your Pets Raw Meat Stop Feeding Your Pets Raw Meat

An emerging trend among pet owners is the practice of feeding dogs and cats raw meat. This idea is that we should put our domestic cats and dogs on diets that more closely approximate what they might eat in nature. New research from Europe shows the surprising degree to which germs and parasites can be found in…

A New Type of Steel Kills Bacteria With Nanospikes A New Type of Steel Kills Bacteria With Nanospikes

In an age when bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to our best antibiotics and the words “E. coli” can shut down your favorite local Chipotle, people are desperate for anything that promises to wipe out germs. Unfortunately, when it comes to cleaning products that label themselves “antimicrobial,” they’re…

Scientists Added Two New Letters to DNA's Code Scientists Added Two New Letters to DNA's Code

If you’ve taken a science class, you’re likely aware that DNA is the body’s instruction manual. But its language is only written in four letters: A, T, C, and G. Those who paid extra close attention will remember that RNA, the photocopy of the instructions that the cell actually uses, replaces the Ts with the letter…

Yep, It's Still Not a Good Idea to Eat Raw Cookie Dough Yep, It's Still Not a Good Idea to Eat Raw Cookie Dough

For some, sneaking a mouthful of raw cookie dough while baking is an indelible—and certainly delicious—part of the process. But while we’ve been told to avoid dough containing raw eggs, a new investigation confirms that tainted raw flour was responsible for an E. coli outbreak in 2016—a finding that will surely test…

Houston Woman Dies From 'Flesh-Eating Bacteria' Left Behind by Hurricane Harvey   Houston Woman Dies From 'Flesh-Eating Bacteria' Left Behind by Hurricane Harvey  

Flood waters are receding in Houston after the historic rainfall from Hurricane Harvey earlier this month. But the water itself was not the only threat. Flooding breached dozens of waste treatment centers, sending a deluge of bacteria throughout the city. The New York Times reports on the victims of the bacterial…

Alarming Study Indicates Why Certain Bacteria Are More Resistant to Drugs in Space Alarming Study Indicates Why Certain Bacteria Are More Resistant to Drugs in Space

To learn more about why some germs seem harder to kill in near-weightless conditions, scientists aboard the ISS recently doused a batch of bacteria with antibiotics—an experiment which resulted in a series of startling physical changes that may be helping the bacteria to survive and thrive in space.

Cyborg Bacteria Beat Plants at the Photosynthesis Game Cyborg Bacteria Beat Plants at the Photosynthesis Game

Reading science news all day can be real grim. Animals are dying, the climate is changing, the nuke’s a coming, yadda yadda. But sometimes (in fact, often) scientists do something that’s just neat, important, and won’t keep you up at night—that is, if you’re cool with photosynthesizing cyborg bacteria.

Your Kitchen Sponge Contains More Bacteria Than Any Other Object in Your House Your Kitchen Sponge Contains More Bacteria Than Any Other Object in Your House

By this point, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that the world is full of bacteria. But the numbers can still be baffling. Take your body: it probably has 37 trillion cells or so, and maybe the same number of bacterial cells.

Doctors Slam New Recommendation That We Should Stop Antibiotic Treatments Early Doctors Slam New Recommendation That We Should Stop Antibiotic Treatments Early

Scientists from the UK caused quite a stir this week, when they announced that we don’t necessarily need to complete a full course of antibiotics in order to treat infections properly. It’s a provocative message, but skeptics say their advice is grossly premature—and even reckless.

Scientists Code an Animated GIF Into DNA Scientists Code an Animated GIF Into DNA

What’s a strand of DNA but data? We often think of its units, the As, Cs, Ts, and Gs, as letters of the words in an instruction manual. But what if, instead, we think of them as biological computer bits, storing the smallest unit of information? What stops scientists from harnessing the power of those units, using the…

Athlete Poop Won't Improve Your Athletic Performance Athlete Poop Won't Improve Your Athletic Performance

The human body isn’t just your cells, but a home for trillions of bacteria. We know that many of those bacteria serve important purposes, and imbalances or a lack of diversity could lead to illness. But research into this field is pretty new. At least, new enough that you shouldn’t just transplant someone else’s gut…

Space-Mutated Bacteria Could Be Bad News For Humans Space-Mutated Bacteria Could Be Bad News For Humans

A new experiment shows that long-term exposure to microgravity affects bacteria at the genetic level—conferring reproductive advantages that persist even after the bacteria is reintroduced to unaffected colonies and normal levels of gravity here on Earth.

Scientists Engineered Bacteria to Make Picture of Super Mario Scientists Engineered Bacteria to Make Picture of Super Mario

Bacteria have had some pretty great PR, recently. Thanks to lots of new research about their importance to our bodies, they’re not really seen as soulless microscopic murderers anymore. They’re colorful, misunderstood beings living together outside the spotlight, freeloading in our guts in exchange for favors. In…

Are Vitamin Supplements Killing Our Gut Bacteria? Are Vitamin Supplements Killing Our Gut Bacteria?

We consume all sorts of things before really knowing how they’re going to affect us, including probiotics and dietary supplements. But given how preliminary our understanding of our gut bacteria is, it’s very likely that some supplements can work in direct opposition of others. For instance, vitamin A might kill a…

An Innovative New Cancer Therapy Hijacks Bacteria to Fight Tumors An Innovative New Cancer Therapy Hijacks Bacteria to Fight Tumors

Researchers from South Korea have engineered a strain of bacteria that infiltrates tumors and fools the body’s immune system into attacking cancer cells. In experiments, the modified bacteria worked to reduce cancer in mice, raising hope for human trials.

Viruses May Be Responsible For Life As We Know It Viruses May Be Responsible For Life As We Know It

You probably know viruses as the demons behind your nasty cold, the not-quite-living monsters that infiltrate cells and plug in their own genetic material. But the horrible little buggers might have been crucial to forming the cells in our own bodies today.

Ravenous Bacteria Eats Poop and Produces Power Ravenous Bacteria Eats Poop and Produces Power

Researchers at Ghent University have hit on a method of harvesting energy from raw sewage that treats the wastewater without using external electricity. It’s all thanks to starving bacteria. Although this method is still in its lab testing stage, industry leaders are already interested in utilizing it.

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