Scientists at Aberystwyth University have calculated there may be around a septillion, that's a trillion trillion, microbes living in the uppermost 2m of Earth’s glaciers.
They say there may be as many microbes at glacier surfaces as there are in the top 200m of the world’s oceans.
Drs Tristram Irvine-Fynn (Department of Geography and Earth Sciences) and Arwyn Edwards (Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences) have presented revised estimates of the number of microbes in Earth’s glaciers and ice sheet.
Their findings are in a paper published online this week in the journal Cytometry Part A.
Dr Tristram Irvine-Fynn:
“Most of life on Earth is microscopic, and we know there are more microbes on planet Earth than stars in the observable Universe.”
Scientists at Bangor University are investigating ivy as one of a range of plants which could provide compounds currently derived from crude oil.
Work at its BioComposites Centre is underway to find new uses for natural resources.
Development Chemist Dr Dave Preskett:
“We’ve used ivy extract as a slug killer in place of slug pellets and trials using it as a fungicide to treat potato blight, in place of oil derived chemical sprays, proved very effective in protecting crops.
"The same extract also has great potential to be developed in products for treating dandruff and athlete’s foot."
"An oil produced from the berries is edible, as ivy is not poisonous, contrary to popular belief, and has all the health giving properties of olive oil but has the more solid consistency of butter or lard.”
A team of scientists at Cardiff university are trying to find new antibiotics to fight infections like TB. No new class of antibiotic has been discovered for 26 years - and they say if no new ones are found people will start dying of infections they routinely survive. David Wood reports
Scientists at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University say they have discovered that the chemicals that give cut grass its distinctive ‘green odour’ kill off bacteria that convert healthy omega-3 fats into saturated fats in a cow’s gut.
The discovery has been reported in the Society for Applied Microbiology’s Journal of Applied Microbiology.
Dr Sharon Huws, Coleg Cymraeg lecturer in Animal Science at IBERS led the research:
“We’ve known for a while that milk contains a greater proportion of the healthy omega-3 fats in the summer, than in the winter, and now we know it’s probably down to the antimicrobial effects of the green odour products from grass."
Wales has welcomed its first signing in a £50 million plan to get the biggest brains in engineering and science working here. Professor Yves Barde will start work at Cardiff University - he's one of the best neurobiologist in the world and wants to put welsh science on the world stage.