When Correlation Does Not Imply Causation: Why your gut microbes may not (yet) be a silver bullet to all your problems

by Dawn Chenfigures by Daniel Utter Did you know that the divorce rate in Maine strongly correlates with the per capita consumption of margarine? Wow, maybe abstaining from margarine prevents divorce! I can definitely imagine a pop-media article with this eye-catching title. Before throwing out all margarine to save your marriage, an intelligent reader like you would probably think to yourself: “what absurdity, it’s probably … Continue reading When Correlation Does Not Imply Causation: Why your gut microbes may not (yet) be a silver bullet to all your problems

How to improve cheese quality and taste? Understand the cheese’s microbial community.

What makes all the different cheeses taste so wonderful? All of the different microbes that help make your cheese! Scientists have begun linking specific flavors to specific bacteria – meaning sometime soon we can start making designer cheese flavors. Continue reading How to improve cheese quality and taste? Understand the cheese’s microbial community.

Is diabetes communicable?

CIFAR Fellows’s paper questions whether diabetes, heart attacks and strokes are actually non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Microbiota (bacteria, viruses, fungi) that spread flu, HIV/AIDS, may also carry NCDs. People with NCDs have damaged microbiota, causing disease when transmitted into healthy animals. Spouses and cohabitants’ shared lifestyles and environments also lead to gut bacteria transfer.
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Bacteria may live naturally inside the human brain

Over the past decade, the gut microbiome and its effects on human health have become a topic of considerable interest in the scientific community and popular media. The gut microbiome is composed of bacteria that naturally reside in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which have an effect on various biological processes such as digestion, metabolism, regulation of the immune system and protection against pathogens. Interestingly, researchers … Continue reading Bacteria may live naturally inside the human brain

Probing Probiotics: the scientific process behind the hype

by Ilia Gelfat figures by Nicholas Lue Whether you are perusing the aisles of your local grocery store or scrolling through news articles, there’s a term that has been hard to miss in the past few years – probiotics. You might know it has something to do with bacteria helping digestion, but this broad view of the concept might leave you fuzzy on some of … Continue reading Probing Probiotics: the scientific process behind the hype