The Human Microbiome: Guts And Glory
Anxious mice calm down when they get an infusion of gut microbes from mellow mice. That has scientists wondering if gut microbes play a role in the human brain, too. Research on that is only just beginning. But it's intriguing to think there could be a real truth to the phrase "gut feelings."
September 9, 2013 Trillions of microbes live on and in the human body, tucked into very different ecosystems. Some like the dark, warm confines of the mouth. Others prefer the desert-dry skin of the forearm. The biggest and most active collection of microbes hangs out in the gut.
July 22, 2013 Scientists are investigating the microscopic world that lives in and on our bodies. It's becoming clear that these tiny companions play a much more complex and important role in human health than thought. But we don't yet know enough about the microbiome to use it to prevent and treat disease.
June 18, 2013 Fecal transplants are being used more often to treat life-threatening bacterial infections. But the Food and Drug Administration worried that the still-experimental procedure put patients at risk. Now it is dropping plans to restrict transplants after doctors and patients complained.
May 6, 2013 Instead of rinsing off the pacifier when it falls out of your baby's mouth, new research suggests that sucking it clean for them could help keep them from developing eczema and asthma. Researchers say the harmless bacteria in parents' saliva works by stimulating the babies' immune system.
April 24, 2013 When gut microbes break down certain foods like red meat and eggs, they produce a compound tied to risks for heart attack, stroke and death, a study found. The research could lead to new ways to prevent heart disease by shifting the mix of gut bacteria.
June 13, 2012 The human body contains about 100 trillion cells, but only maybe one in 10 of those cells is actually human. The rest are from bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms. Now, scientists have unveiled the first survey the "human microbiome," which includes 10,000 species and more than 8 million genes.