Amazing Science Images

Solitary microbes mingle

Microbes are thought to be solitary, but new research finds this isn’t always the case. In this image, cell consortia composed of archaea and bacteria combine their individual metabolic powers to achieve oxidation of the greenhouse gas methane in the absence of oxygen. Nucleic acids within individual cells are stained in blue, and green indicates that new proteins have been made. Many uncultured microbes play unknown roles in regulating Earth’s biogeochemical processes: everything from regulating plant health to driving nutrient cycles in both terrestrial and marine environments, processes that can impact global climate. (Credit: Roland Hatzenpichler) More »