Microbiology is the study of the smallest, usually single-celled organisms, such as bacteria and viruses many of which can live or survive in more extreme environments than multicellular organisms. Although some (known as pathogens) can make us ill, many of these organisms are vital for human, animal and plant survival. For instance, gut organisms produce many of the vitamins and co-enzymes our cells require but cannot make themselves. By studying and understanding them, we can better understand how larger organisms live.
Articles about microbiology
Subscribe to unanswered questions that interest you by clicking the icons in our articles
Despite its amazing ability to explain how species change and diverge there are some areas of evolution that scientists are still working to understand.
Delve deeper into evolution
The origins of life – where and how did life begin?
Delve deeper into origin of life
There are many open questions surrounding vaccines – but perhaps not the first questions that come to mind. Vaccines do not cause autism, but there are many things we don’t know about them, such as why some wear off.
Delve deeper into vaccines
Our immune systems are vital for our survival as they protect us from bacterial, viruses and other pathogens that could cause us harm. But sometimes, they can go wrong, and cause damage to our bodies.
Delve deeper into immune system
There are many unknowns when it comes to pregnancy, and many accepted phenomena are still unexplained, or simply attributed to "hormones" or "the placenta" (a complex and poorly understood organ!)
Delve deeper into pregnancy
The ecosystem in your gut – how the microbiome might affect what we eat, what illnesses we get and whether we gain weight easily. How to change your microbiome and why it's such a fuzzy business.
Delve deeper into microbiome
Can the toxoplasma gondii parasite change our personalities, behaviours and who we're attracted to?
Delve deeper into toxoplasmosis
What happens to plastic when it gets disposed of into the environment, and how might it affect us?
Delve deeper into plastics
Ebola is one of the most contagious and dangerous diseases, but between outbreaks the disease must be hiding somewhere. Some suspect bats, but is this really true?
Delve deeper into bats and ebola
There’s still a whole herd of things we don’t know about bovine TB, its nature, spread and the effects of badger culling: could culling reduce it - or make it worse?
Delve deeper into bovine tb
At low concentrations toxins, drugs, radiation and other “stressors” may improve health rather than damage it. Scientists are looking into why.
Delve deeper into hormesis
The disease COVID-19, caused coronavirus, was thought to originate from a seafood market in China, and be 10,000 years old... but it may come from elsewhere and be millions of years older.
Delve deeper into coronavirus
Blog posts about microbiology
Our blog posts are often written by scientists about their ongoing research