The fundamental backbone of life is unbending, according to two new studies — a plucky bacterium from a California lake cannot substitute a poisonous substance for phosphorus after all. The results address the question of whether GFAJ-1, as the bacterium is known, is “weird life” with implications for astrobiology.
When a strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria begins an assault on the human body, doctors usually have few tools to fall back on, save more antibiotics and crossed fingers. But a group of researchers is developing a new weapon in the fight against potentially threatening bacteria, taking a page from DARPA's playbook. Rather than attacking the bacteria directly, researchers are disrupting their communications, causing coordinated attacks to fall apart before they've begun.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.