Bad bug: The bacterium Clostridium difficile kills 14,000 people in the United States each year.
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.
Fungi (cyan) surround a human hair within the skin. A study in the journal Nature shows the population of fungi on human skin is more diverse that previously thought.
Alex Valm, Ph.D.
May 22, 2013 While studying microorganisms on humans is not new, tracking fungi is. In a census of sorts, scientists checked the skin of healthy volunteers. They found an expansive ecosystem of silent inhabitants.
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Sucking may be one of the most beneficial ways to clean a baby's dirty pacifier, a study found
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.
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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.
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Mango Doucleff is always ready with a germ-laden slurp for her owner's face and ears.
April 18, 2013 Dog owners have similar germs growing on their skin: a signature blend of bacteria from canines' tongues and paws. Scientists couldn't find an analogous signature for cat owners. Perhaps cats are just being selfish.
You call it salad. The bacteria call it home.
March 28, 2013 Salad is not just a food; it's home to a flourishing community of mostly benign microbes. A new inventory finds surprising differences in the bacteria growing on popular fruits and vegetables.
This skull may have better teeth than you.
February 24, 2013 By examining ancient dental plaque, researchers have concluded that prehistoric humans' diets made for healthier mouths. The addition of flour and sugar to modern diets may have set the stage for a near-constant state of oral disease.
Twins in Malawi helped scientists discover a role the gut microbiome appears to play in severe malnutrition.
Photograph courtesy of Tanya Yatsunenko
January 30, 2013 The bacteria that live in humans' guts influence weight gain and health. By studying twins in Malawi, scientists have found that changes in this microbial community may also turn malnutrition into a fatal condition.
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Microbiologist Emma Allen-Vercoe invented the Robogut, a mechanical device that mimics conditions in the human colon.
Courtesy of thestar.com
January 16, 2013 Canadian scientists have developed a synthetic stool that successfully treated two patients with a severe form of diarrhea. The researchers call the concoction RePOOPulate, and they produce it using a machine that recreates conditions in the colon.
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.
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May 9, 2012 While U.S. adults have relatively uniform microbe colonies in their guts, adults in Malawi and Amazonia have much more diverse populations. Scientists are still struggling with why that is and what it means.
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