Skip to main content


In Focus


Harvard experts are exploring how we can work with, defend against, and harness the capabilities of the estimated five nonillion microbes living on Earth today.

This time-lapse shows a few days’ growth of microbes from a hand. Explore more from the “Microbial Life: A Universe at the Edge of Sight” exhibit.

Exploring the world inside us

The human body contains trillions of microorganisms, with the largest numbers found in the intestines. Scientists are just beginning to discover all the ways these microbes interact with our bodily functions.

Learn more about our microbiome

An illustration of bacteria

Common diseases

A large-scale study demonstrates a clear association between specific microbial species in the gut, certain foods, and the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Read More


Unravelling how microbes enhance the body’s response to cancer treatments

Read More

Vaginal health

Sharing research to help people understand an overlooked microbiome

Read More

Dental health

Exploring how tongue microbes are very different from teeth microbes

Read More


Understanding how a microbe in elite athletes helps exercise performance in mice

Read More


Detailing the links between specific gut bacteria and positive emotions

Read More
A person holding a petri dish


Sphingomonas solaris

A new bacterium found on solar panels at the Arnold Arboretum.

Learn more about the discovery

Supporting the world around us

Scientists are utilizing microbes to help advance sustainability and turn the tide on climate change.

We envision a truly circular economy in which microbes convert gases to commodity products—from plastics to food to clothes, etc.”

Shannon Nangle

Research associate and co-leader of the Circe project alongside Research Scientist Marika Ziesack (right).

Two scientists in a glass building

Single-cell and ready to mingle

Harvard experts are uncovering bacterial mysteries, exploring their medical potential, and learning how a fungus can control an animal’s behavior.

Become more cultured

Learn from Harvard experts how to grow yeast and bacteria for food and science.

Explore resources for young students

A jar of pickled beans and cucumbers


In the kitchen

Learn about the history and science behind cultured consumables, and explore the roles that microbes play in the production, preservation, and enhancement of foods and drinks.

Take the free fermentation course

A person holding a petri dish


In the lab

Learn more about the structure of microbes, the different phases of growth, how they reproduce, and what byproducts they create.

Explore the LabXchange video