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Obesity and the Microbiome
A large body of evidence is emerging showing that the microbiome has a role in obesity and I cover some...
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The very real danger of alfatoxins
Food products, especially harvested grains, need to be stored carefully. Proper management means storing...
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The 6th Edition of Through the Microscope is now available
The website, eBooks, and hard copy of Through the Microscope are now available. To purchase website access,...
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The stringent response can influence antibiotic resistance
Cancer is a horrible disease, killing over half a million people in the United States every year and...
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Gut disbiosys hinders the healing of spinal cord injuries
There has been a growing body of evidence that the microorganisms that live with us on our bodies deeply...
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Bacteriophages Batteling Against Bacterial Infections

  The human digestive system is home to many microbes that are beneficial to our health; they help our systems battle harmful microbes and help us digest our food. When taking antibiotics to stop bacterial infections, we take the risk of killing the good bacteria and leaving behind the bacteria that are harmful. Currently in England and Wales there is an ongoing battle with a harmful bacterium, C. difficile. C. difficile, which causes infections found mostly in the hospital setting infec...

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Using Bacteriophages to Fight Bacterial Infections

  Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of hospital infections in England and Wales, and treating these infections is becoming more difficult as the causative organism becomes more resistant to antibiotics.  Microbiologists are experimenting with the use of bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, as a way to help control these bacterial infections despite antibiotic resistance. 

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Bacterial Changes In The Gut May Trigger Disease In Humans

  Bacteria located within the human gut have been studied for years. In 2012, Mayo Clinic in Minnesota has classified them as bacteria that may control or alter the onset and progression of autoimmune diseases.  Regulating the human immune system and autoimmune diseases have been found to start in the gut. Bacteria that flourish within the mammalian stomach and intestines have been found to alter the host's immune system. Researchers believe that maintaining the balance of th...

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Biogeographical distribution and diversity of microbes in methane hydrate-bearing deep marine sediments on the Pacific Ocean Margin

  The depths of the Oceans on this world are unexplored territory by humans. Until recently. Scientists have created equipment that can withstand the pressure of the depth of the sea to begin exploring the world unseen by many land-bound eyes. Little did we know there was an underwater land teeming with life, especially microbial life. This article discusses the microbial communities that may be contributors to the methane levels found in our ocean sediments. The Prokaryotic biomass f...

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Treated mice infected with Clostridium difficile

  In the article “ Using Gut Bacteria to Fight Diarrhea”, microbiologist Trevor Lawley of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and his colleagues examined Clostridium difficile infection in mice.  In humans, C. difficile is a significant pathogen in hostpitals and nursing homes, causing nearly 336,000 infections and 14,000 deaths a year in the United States.  Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic, gram-positive bacterium that is the majo...

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Effect of diet on the human gut micro biome.

  For decades, we have known that proper nutrition is essential for human health, but recent studies have demonstrated that variations in composition and operations of the human gut microbiome can influence the host energy metabolic function, host energy expenditure, and ultimately the nutritional value of food. Knowing this, it would be logical to ask how we may be able to further promote our health by improving ecological health of the microbial communities in our gut. Turnbaugh PJ, et al. set o...

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The Impact of the Gut Microbiota on Human Health: An Integrative View

  Over the last decade there has been an exponential growth in the amount of individuals that are being diagnosed with diseases, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn's Disease, and food allergies, which are a result of the consequences from the amount and type of microbiota contained within the gastrointestinal tract.  There are also some diseases; Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), many autoimmune disorders, and rheumatoid arthritis...

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Corals buddy up with bacteria

  In a new study conducted by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), there is new evidence of a complex symbiotic relationship between certain species of reef building coral and bacteria that wasn't previously understood. It has been known that many coral form symbiotic relationships with many other organisms, such as algae. Researchers have already understood that a species of reef building coral, Stylopho...

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Sequencing Microbial Dark Matter

  Microbes are all around us. Scientists have been trying to find and sequence each microbe's DNA for a long time now, but because many of the microbes will not grow in the lab, many of their DNA sequences are unknown. These un-sequenced organisms are known as “microbial dark matter.” Three years ago, microbiologist Tonja Woyke developed a new technique to sequence the genome of one cell.  Before this new technique was developed, determining a cell's DNA sequence requ...

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Friendly Viruses in Mucus

  Most folks would typically consider bacteria to be either good or bad.  The bad such as those that cause infectious disease or the good like the normal flora that aid in digestion, but none would think of viruses having a dual nature as well. A group of scientists led by Jeremy Barr discovered that mucus, a viscid gel-like secretion rich in mucins that act as a protective lubricant from infectious agents, is more than just a barrier. Surprisingly, the active layer of mucus consists of bacte...

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