In the daunting, demanding, 24/7 job that is raising a baby, parents love to claim how aspects of their child is a reflection of their contribution, i.e. their looks, athletics, and smarts. While this debate amongst partners has the ability to get rather heated, their contributions may not be as significant as they’d like to believe. There is no denying that parents have an impact in child development, both through nature and nurture, in aspects such as cognitive functionality. However, recent research published in Biological Psychiatry brings about evidence that those baby smarts that you or your partner claim to be responsible for, may actually be influenced by the baby’s own gut microbiome.
Frogs, from children chasing them in the outdoors to being the center point in fairytales, have a more involved role in our daily lives than you may give credit for. As part of our ecosystem, they contribute through the consumption of many ‘pest’ insects, which I’m sure is a role we all appreciate. However, much like the fairytale “The Princess and the Frog”, these amphibians have more to offer than what meets the eye.
Do you eat enough fiber? If not, you might not just feel it in your gut! The importance of a high fiber diet has been well documented throughout the years by researchers and nutritionists alike citing many benefits that contribute to improved bowel function. From fiber tablets to high fiber grain, proprietors have pounced on this healthy gut craze creating a large specialized market with fiber supplementation in the spotlight. This movement has undoubtedly provided intestinal relief to thousands if not millions. However, much like fiber’s effect on bowel function, the health benefits doesn’t stop in the gut.
You’ve seen it in TV shows, movies, plays, and especially soap operas; silly fantasies in which one is able to create a concoction capable of inducing their victim into uncontrollable infatuation. This concept however, much to the dismay of many, has not been turned into reality. In truth, the emotion of love and it’s development is one that science has little explanation to offer, so the idea of a “love potion” seems out of reach. Despite this fact, studies into the universe of infinite possibilities (also called the gut microbiome) have unlocked the door to correlations between gut bacteria and their impact
Oil spills, and the environmental damage they cause, are one of the most dangerous and detrimental events to occur on Earth. The aftermath felt by affected ecosystems is almost irreversible, with practically no living organism capable of withstanding such pollution to their environment. As you may remember the Deepwater Horizon spill that occurred in 2010, the scope of devastation in which the Gulf of Mexico was exposed to was unfathomable, leaving thousands of organisms with unlivable conditions. What’s worse yet is the inability of human response to the containment and deterrence of these spills in an efficient manner, thus exponentially increasing the damage inflicted on the environment. However, researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Library have conducted studies into the microbial contribution to oil degradation and the possibilities it may present, specifically to the Deepwater Horizon event of 2010.
Did you know, as a patient, you present more organisms to your doctor for treatment than there are humans on earth? It’s okay if you didn’t, even Alexander Fleming probably didn’t realize when he discovered penicillin that the effects of this xenobiotic (foreign chemical substance found within an organism that is not naturally produced by or expected to be present within) depended on trillions (over ten trillion to be exact) of bacteria’s metabolic pathways. These bacteria account for the microbial world known as the gut microbiome, and their effects on xenobiotics can have beneficial, or sometimes deadly, effects.
When you think back to the age of dinosaurs, you probably picture a world of giant, ferocious animals roaming around humid and densely green environments. As such, it’s hard to imagine modern humans coexisting with anything from that time period. Yet, according to research published recently in Cell, we are living amongst creatures today that thrived not only in the era of dinosaurs but also as early as animals first adapted to living on land. Those creatures are antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
It was roughly six years ago – back in 2011 – that a magnitude-9 earthquake triggered a catastrophic tsunami, which devastated areas of northeastern Japan. You may recall the subsequent headlines, many of which focused on the resulting Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant meltdown. It’s scary to think that this disaster was neither the largest nor deadliest earthquake-tsunami combo in history. And that grim point is one reason a team from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology Kochi Institute is looking for ways to mitigate the size of tsunamis. What's possibly most interesting about the institute’s recent tsunami research, though, is that they’ve been investigating how to use bacteria to stifle tsunami size.
If you aren’t a dendrologist (an expert on woody plants, like trees), you’re probably not up-to-date on the latest news in the world of trees. Fortunately, we at CosmosID are obsessed with unlocking the world of microbes, which are everywhere, including in and on trees and soil, so we’ve got you covered with this post.
This week, we came across a fascinating finding, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, about how soil microbes could be critical to the migration of certain tree species in the Rocky Mountains. The trees in focus are retreating, as trees do, to higher elevations in the mountains to survive increasing environmental temperatures. And as the University of Tennessee researchers who undertook this study discovered, the soil microbiome plays a role in this remarkable migration, and may even encourage it. Specifically, it appears soil microbes construct what the researchers call “soil highways”, which they believe may determine whether and how quickly young trees are able to spread to higher elevations.