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According to a new study in the Journal of Medical Entomology, New York City’s rats are host to a flea that has been associated with the bubonic plague and the Black Death. Over the course of 10 months, researchers from Cornell and Columbia studied 133 rats from five different areas in the city, and found […]

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A fascinating new study by geneticists at Weill Cornell Medical College has mapped the genetic material found in 466 of New York City’s subway stations. This is the first study ever to offer a comprehensive look at the microbiome of a sprawling metropolis — one that supports 5.5 million commuters a day on average — […]

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Remember back in second grade when you didn’t so much as hold hands with another kid cause he probably had cooties? Well, congratulations on getting over that fear, but now science says your cootie theory wasn’t totally invalid. Science Daily reports that as many as “80 million bacteria are transferred during a 10 second kiss,” […]

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A new and strange breed of bacteria has been recently discovered by PhD student Annette Rowe. Scientists are already aware of bacteria that can eat “pure energy” — microorganisms like Shewanella and Geobacter that harvest electrons from rocks, metals and, sometimes, battery electrodes manipulated by scientists — but now Rowe has discovered eight new varieties of these bacteria that […]

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Microbes: huge in 2014. In the video below, from Dezeen, Suzanne Lee of the company BioCouture explains how she makes clothing out of bacteria. So far, she’s making jackets and shoes out of a material called bacterial cellulose. They’re quite nice-looking. “What we have right now are living organisms making us materials, but then the organism is killed […]

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During the construction of NASA spacecraft, highly sterilized clean rooms are built and used in order to prevent any possible contamination that may stand in the way of search for life aboard the crafts. Extreme measures are taken in these “clean rooms.” They are kept extremely dry, are cleaned with a series of harsh chemicals […]

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Everyone knows the Hudson River is nasty: nastier than the East River, nastier than the Harlem River–nearly as nasty as the Gowanus Canal. But surprise! New research shows it’s even more disgusting than we thought. According to a study by Columbia University biologists published in the Journal of Water and Health, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are now plaguing the […]

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Each time you step on to the subway, you’re joining quite a large crowd of bacteria. How large? Microbiologist Norman R. Pace published a study this week detailing the roughly one billion tiny organisms living in every two cubic meters of air in the transit system–about the amount one person breathes each day. But don’t […]

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We’re one step closer to a beautiful, terrifying utopia in which we stop staring into computers all day every day and simply become them. A team of MIT researchers led by Rahul Sarpeshkar have developed a working calculator built entirely from living E. coli bacterial cells, capable of “performing addition, division and power-law computations,” according to SciLogs. It’s not the first […]

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It’s too bad BP’s oil spill didn’t happen a few years from now, cause we’d have a much better chance of cleaning it up. Scientists say they’ve discovered a strain of bacteria that could help greatly with this disaster in the Gulf and other environmental messes, but unfortunately, it’s going to take years to develop […]

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