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Can bacteria survive 500 years in space? News

by David, 14 February 2019 | 1 comments

Image of a red orb sealed in a glass bottle.

Imagine bacteria, clinging to a rock, floating deep in space. The rock was once blasted off its planet by a cataclysmic explosion. Hundreds of years in the future, the rock encounters a new planet, bringing these lonely bacteria with it. The question is, could the bacteria survive?

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Pop goes the bearcat News

by David, 23 October 2017 | 0 comments

bearcat lying down

An animal that smells of popcorn sounds more like a creature from a fairy tale than from reality. But the bearcat, found in Southeast Asia, is a real-life fantastic beast known for its unusual popcorn scent. The source of its smell, though, is hardly appetising.

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Hard work creates simple life

by David, 5 June 2016 | 0 comments

It takes a lot of information to make a human. It’s kept in our cells as DNA, which contains at least 20 000 genes. Some other forms of life can get by with much less DNA and fewer genes. Now one team of scientists think they’re close to making the simplest living thing possible. The team…

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Burp! Excuse us

by Jasmine, 24 March 2016 | 0 comments

In a recent blog post we reported on farts, a type of methane emission. When talking about these emissions, we made an omission. That is, we should have mentioned burps as well as farts. In cows, burps can account for 95 per cent of methane emissions. As methane is a greenhouse gas, these emissions can…

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The secret life of soil

by , 16 January 2015 | 0 comments

Bacteria living in soil could save our lives – if only we knew they existed. A new way of looking at soil bacteria is helping researchers discover new antibiotics. We use antibiotics to help fight infections, such as a festering sore on your arm or a chest infection. Growing in these infections are unwelcome bacteria…

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Frozen poo pills

by , 7 November 2014 | 0 comments

As gross as it may sound, doctors are now trialling poo to treat some patients. In a new study, capsules full of fecal matter – otherwise known as poo – have been found to cure infections in the intestines! The idea behind using feces as a medicine lies in the bacteria that live in your…

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Bacteria under Antarctic ice

by , 19 September 2014 | 0 comments

Written by Caitlin DevorThere’s life under ice. Scientists found an entire community of bacteria living 800 metres under the surface of glaciers in Antarctica. These bacteria rely on each other to survive in the dark, isolated, subzero lake. At the south-eastern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf, under the ice of glaciers, lies the liquid…

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Perfumes for pests

by , 30 May 2014 | 0 comments

Cross-species communication between citrus plants, bacteria, jumping plant lice and wasps begins with a fresh, minty smell. Jumping plant lice, Diaphorina citri, are small insects that eat the sap of citrus trees like oranges and lemons. As they suck on tree blood, the plants produce the minty smell of wintergreen oil. Wintergreen oil, or methyl salicylate,…

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Art and science

by , 23 May 2014 | 2 comments

The eyes have it. Bright, colourful butterflies and birds easily catch our attention. But to visualise bacteria, we need to get creative. A picture tells a thousand words. But how many words go into a picture? For molecular biologist and artist David Goodsell, pages upon pages of research go into each artistic creation. David makes…

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A fresh look at a foul-mouthed lizard News

by Mike, 20 January 2014 | 0 comments

Komodo Dragon

January has been a busy month for CSIRO’s dragon experts, so we thought you might also enjoy reading about a living dragon found in the real world: the Komodo dragon!

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