Warming global temperatures are changing life on every continent on Earth, including Antarctica, where more microbes are moving in to territory previously covered by ice. How these microbes respond to warming offers us clues about what future Antarctica will look like and who will thrive there. Microbial ecologist and PhD candidate Alicia Purcell from the Center for… Read more
NAU scientists, national partners win $3.3 million to study microbes’ role in a changing world
If the fate of carbon is a test that planet Earth is taking right now, one of the answer keys is likely to be found in soil, where microorganisms—which account for nearly 15 percent of global biomass, by some estimates—eat, store and respire carbon and other nutrients. As Earth warms, how these microbes change the way they live will have potentially big consequences for where the carbon goes.
Now, a team… Read more
NAU stream ecologist’s major study of leaf litter hits milestone
Some experts estimate that a single mature oak tree produces between 200,000 and 1 million leaves each year—all of which fall from the tree in the autumn. Although “litter” from decaying leaves is sometimes viewed as a problem in urban and suburban settings, fallen leaves play a critical role in the natural world. Decomposing… Read more
NAU researchers join Department of Energy project to study the soil microbiome and its effect on carbon persistence
The Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and biosphere are huge reservoirs of carbon, and all play a critical role in global carbon cycling. Soil is one of the largest carbon pools on the planet, storing more carbon than the atmosphere and biosphere combined, yet scientists aren’t sure what regulates carbon persistence—the amount of carbon that remains in the soil.
Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory… Read more
NAU scientists urge further study of ‘the beasts in all of us’—colonizing opportunistic pathogens
A new paper published in PLOS Pathogens by a team of researchers comprised of Bruce Hungate and Ben Koch from Northern Arizona University; Lance Price from George Washington University and the Translational Genomics Research Institute; and Gregg Davis and Cindy Liu from George Washington University outlines the critical need for further research into the nature of colonizing opportunistic pathogens, or… Read more
NAU researcher collaborates on study of risk factors for HIV in men
According to a new paper published in the scientific journal mBio, an increase in some types of bacteria living under the foreskin can increase a man’s risk of HIV infection by up to 63 percent. The study, “Penile anaerobic dysbiosis as a risk factor for HIV infection,” was an international collaboration that included researchers from Northern… Read more