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Scientist Injects Self With 'Eternal Life' Bacteria

Russian researcher saw mice, flies reaped benefits from bacteria, so why not?

(Newser) - In 2009, a 3.5-million-year-old bacteria strain called Bacillus F was discovered deep in the permafrost of Siberia's Sakha Republic, per Medical Daily . Scientists soon after found that mice and fruit flies exposed to the bacteria seemed to get a boost to their immune systems, leading to longer lives... More »

You Have an Invisible Cloud, Much Like a Fingerprint

The bacteria around you could tie you to the scene of a crime

(Newser) - When someone says you're in their personal bubble, they aren't exactly speaking metaphorically. In a new study , University of Oregon researchers say they've found people really are surrounded by a sort of cloud that's unique to them. The gross part: It's made up of millions... More »

How a Man Has Gone 12 Years Without Bathing

David Whitlock apparently smells just fine

(Newser) - A live bacteria spray meant to restore skin with healthy microbes erased by obsessive cleaning has at least one weighty endorsement: It's used daily by a guy who hasn't showered in more than 12 years, per CBS Boston . David Whitlock—a chemical engineer who manages not to scare... More »

This Is the Dirtiest Spot on an Airplane

Surprise: It's the tray table

(Newser) - If you avoid airplane bathrooms for fear of germs, it's time to rethink your strategy. Travelmath sent a microbiologist to swipe airplanes and airports to find the dirtiest spots and the results are as surprising as they are gross. The ickiest spot on a plane is actually a seat'... More »

What the Dust in Your House Says About You

Our dust contains, on average, 9K unique species of microbes

(Newser) - Last year, volunteers mailed in dust samples taken from above interior and exterior door frames in 1,200 homes across the US as part of a citizen science project called Wild Life of Our Homes . Now, scientists are reporting in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B that our... More »

Don't Wash Your Spinach? You May Not Want to Read This

Even if you do wash, bad news for you

(Newser) - If you don't wash the pre-washed spinach you buy from the store, you may want to stop reading. Actually, even if you do wash your spinach, you still may want to stop here. According to new findings by food safety researchers out of the University of California, Riverside , bacteria... More »

'Flesh-Eating' Water Bacteria Kills 2 People

Vibrio vulnificus can be vicious if it enters the bloodstream

(Newser) - A bacterium that flourishes in warm, brackish water has killed two people in Florida this year and will likely take more lives—but people can easily lower their chance of infection. Florida health officials say one person picked up the bacterium, known as vibrio vulnificus, via "raw seafood exposure"... More »

A Schooner Sails the World, Makes Amazing Discoveries

Evidence for 10 times more plankton species than known

(Newser) - From 2009 to 2013, the 110-foot schooner Tara sailed around the world, collecting plankton samples from more than 200 sites, some as deep as 6,500 feet down in the ocean, Science magazine reports. Fighting volatile weather, funding issues, and even the threat of pirates, the Tara expedition team still... More »

Behold, the Smallest Form of Life Ever Seen

Scientists capture image of ultra-small bacteria

(Newser) - They're called "ultra-small bacteria," but "ultra-small" doesn't seem to do them justice. Instead, try "about as small as life can get," write researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory . They managed to capture the first-ever image of such an organism, no small feat... More »

High-Tech Lab Leaks Deadly Bacteria

How did Louisiana lab fail to contain it?

(Newser) - A high-security laboratory in Louisiana recently leaked deadly bacteria, infecting four animals and apparently a federal investigator—but officials say there's no public health risk, USA Today reports. The probe began after two monkey-like animals at the Tulane National Primate Research Center were infected last year by a bacterium... More »

Earth's Deepest Spot Is Alive With 'Unexpected' Bacteria

Microscopic bacteria are alive and well in the Mariana Trench's deepest canyon

(Newser) - To the naked eye, life gets scarce the deeper into the ocean one goes. But both the ocean's surfaces and its floors are teeming with microscopic life, and the deepest point of all—the Challenger Deep canyon in the Mariana Trench nearly seven miles below sea level—is home... More »

A Few Myths About Washing Produce

No, you don't need produce wash

(Newser) - Obsessed with using produce wash, or cavalier about biting into unwashed organic fruits and veggies? Modern Farmer dispels a few myths about cleaning produce:
  • "Produce wash is a must": Yes, produce wash claims to destroy more bacteria, but the Center for Food Safety reports that tap water is as
... More »

How Chewing Gum Makes Your Mouth Healthier

It captures a whole lot of bacteria

(Newser) - Have a mouth full of cavities? You can maybe blame those teachers who wouldn't let you chew gum in class. Gum gets some scientific analysis in a study titled "Quantification and Qualification of Bacteria Trapped in Chewed Gum" published in PLOS ONE yesterday (and, it should be noted,... More »

How Rapists Who Wear Condoms Could Be Caught

Bacterial profiles of pubic hair so unique they could identify perpetrators

(Newser) - Investigators routinely analyze pubic hairs found at crime scenes where rape is suspected, but it's rare that the hair has its root, and thus sufficient DNA to identify its former owner. Now researchers say that bacterial colonies on pubic hairs appear to be so unique to an individual that... More »

The Scary Implications of India's Wave of Baby Deaths

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria is out of control

(Newser) - India sees 800,000 newborns die each year, but 58,000 of those deaths were particularly noteworthy—and alarming—last year. Those infants died of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, according to a recent study cited by the New York Times , which reports the evidence is mounting that a sizable amount of... More »

Meet the Germs in Your Local Public Restroom

Even shortly after it's cleaned

(Newser) - Warning: Some readers may find the following information disturbing ... or at least pretty gross. Researchers studying public restrooms found that just an hour after bathrooms were sterilized with bleach solution, they were once again packed with various microbes, NPR reports. In a study over the course of a few months,... More »

Inside Vultures' Guts: Poison

Study: Birds developed immunity to dangerous but helpful toxins

(Newser) - Vultures eat all kinds of nasty stuff that humans can't (and wouldn't if we could). But how do they survive living off the rotting flesh of roadkill? Researchers set out to answer that query by examining the guts of 24 turkey vultures and 26 black vultures trapped and... More »

Boy, 5, Sick With E. Coli After Friend, 4, Dies

Authorities in Oregon trying to figure out source of illness

(Newser) - A 4-year-old girl in Oregon has died after being stricken with E. coli, and her 5-year-old friend remains hospitalized, reports Q13 Fox . Authorities are awaiting lab results that might help determine how Serena Faith Profitt of Otis got sick, though they say they may never zero in on the exact... More »

Moving? Your Germ Universe Will Follow

A new study finds it takes about a day for our bacteria to colonize a new place

(Newser) - It doesn't matter how much we scrub—our bodies are home to trillions of bacteria. And a new study finds that they travel with us: Even when we move to a new location, they colonize those surfaces within about a day, reports WebMD . But the vast majority that comprise... More »

Florida to Beachgoers: Beware Flesh-Eating Bug

High levels of Vibrio bacteria found in state waters

(Newser) - Crash-landing planes aren't the only hazard on Florida beaches: The state has warned that high levels of flesh-eating Vibrio bacteria have been detected in its waters, Gawker reports. The naturally-occurring bacteria, which thrives in warm, moderately salty water, causes around 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the... More »

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