The ubiquity of microorganisms is unparalleled in any other known organism. These creatures surround our outsides and colonize our insides, a fact that has been known for centuries. However, despite their prevalence and long study, many of their characteristics still remain largely unexplained, including how proteins organize within microbial cells and how microbes interact with each other and with their environments. Many of the techniques used to study microorganisms are nearly as old as the knowledge of microorganisms themselves. Seeking new ways to look at microbiology, Douglas Weibel, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, turned to chemistry. He and his colleagues are using novel microfluidic methods to develop new ways to culture bacteria and small molecules to control the function of proteins in vivo. By combining chemistry with microbiology, Weibel and his team hope to shine new light on this old field.