• Microbial Growth in Pharaoh's Tomb Suggests Burial was Rushed
    In the tomb of King Tutankhamen, the elaborately painted walls are covered with dark brown spots that mar the face of the goddess Hathor, the silvery-coated baboons—in fact, almost every surface. Despite almost a century of scientific investigation, the precise identity of ...More
    June 8, 2011 Posted in News
  • 'Policing' Stops Cheaters from Dominating Groups of Cooperative Bacteria
    When environmental conditions are hospitable, Myxococcus xanthus takes a rod-shaped form (yellow), swarming, dividing, and competing with other cells for nutrients. When stressed, the bacterium becomes more social, collaborating with other cells to produce spherical spores ...More
    May 26, 2011 Posted in News
  • Antibiotics Disrupt Gut Ecology, Metabolism
    Humans carry several pounds of microbes in our gastro-intestinal tracts. Recent research suggests that this microbial ecosystem plays a variety of critical roles in our health. Now, working in a mouse model, researchers from Canada describe many of the interactions between ...More
    April 20, 2011 Posted in News
  • Intestinal Bacteria Organize in Clusters
    As partners in the international research consortium named MetaHit, scientists from the University of Copenhagen have contributed to show that an individual's intestinal bacteria flora, regardless of nationality, gender and age, organizes itself in certain clusters. The ...More
    April 20, 2011 Posted in News
  • Stress Wrecks Intestinal Bacteria, Could Keep Immune System on Idle
    Stress not only sends the human immune system into overdrive – it can also wreak havoc on the trillions of bacteria that work and thrive inside our digestive system. New research suggests that this may be important because those bacteria play a significant role in ...More
    April 11, 2011 Posted in News
  • Stress Affects the Balance of Bacteria in the Gut and Immune Response
    Stress can change the balance of bacteria that naturally live in the gut, according to research published this month in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. "These bacteria affect immune function, and may help explain why stress dysregulates the immune response," says ...More
    March 21, 2011 Posted in News
  • Scientists Grow Personalized Collections of Intestinal Microbes
    Each of us carries a unique collection of trillions of friendly microbes in our intestines that helps break down food our bodies otherwise couldn't digest. This relationship between humans and their microbes is generally a healthy one, but changes to the mix of microbes in ...More
    March 21, 2011 Posted in News
  • Orthodontic Retainers Harbor Pathogenic Microbes
    Insufficient cleaning could allow build-up of microbes on orthodontic retainers, researchers at the UCL Eastman Dental Institute have found. Dr. Jonathan Pratten and colleagues looked at the types of microbes which live on retainers; this study, which found potentially ...More
    March 15, 2011 Posted in News
  • Gut Bacteria Can Control Organ Functions
    Bacteria in the human gut may not just be helping digest food but also could be exerting some level of control over the metabolic functions of other organs, like the liver, according to research published this week in the online journal mBio®. These findings offer new ...More
    March 1, 2011 Posted in News
  • Gene 'Relocation' is Key to Most Evolutionary Change in Bacteria
    In a new study, scientists at the University of Maryland and the Institut Pasteur show that bacteria evolve new abilities, such as antibiotic resistance, predominantly by acquiring genes from other bacteria. The researchers new insights into the evolution of bacteria partly ...More
    January 31, 2011 Posted in News