Is it really worth having your gut bacteria tested?

How much can you learn about your health from a dab of poop or a swab from your skin or mouth? With various scientific researchers offering to test your microbiome for a fee, it's natural to be curious about the trillions of microbes living in your body. But is it worthwhile to get tested yourself, and what can current … » 1/23/14 11:00am 1/23/14 11:00am

There's no evidence antibacterial soap is more effective

And that, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is a problem. Antibacterial soap products contain potentially harmful ingredients you won't find in regular soaps – and the risks of those ingredients could outweigh antibacterial products' unproven benefits. » 12/17/13 7:10am 12/17/13 7:10am

Psychedelic Images of Terrifying Viruses

We're living in a strange world, barely protected against the infectious, replicating agents called viruses. They may have gruesome effects on our bodies, but these viruses' microscopic world looks beautiful from close up — especially because researchers often add color to the images in order to study them… » 12/04/13 3:33pm 12/04/13 3:33pm

Here's why wine snobs should probably be called bacteria snobs

Differences in wine quality between vineyards have long been attributed to processing techniques and seasonal variation. But research now suggests that regional differences between wines are shaped by microbes — specifically, fungi and bacteria. Cultivating certain grape microbes may actually improve wine flavor. » 11/26/13 12:38pm 11/26/13 12:38pm

Why you really get sick on planes – and how to prevent it

If you're about to fly somewhere for Thanksgiving, you're probably dreading the possibility that you'll catch a bug along the way. And with good reason: Many people come down with something nasty in the days following an airplane flight. Why does this happen, and how can you keep yourself from getting sick? » 11/26/13 11:05am 11/26/13 11:05am

The post-antibiotic world of tomorrow looks an awful lot like the past

And that should scare you. Back in September, the CDC issued its first ever report on the threats posed by antibiotic-resistant organisms. "If we are not careful," said CDC director Tom Frieden at the time, "we will soon be in a post-antibiotic era." But what would such an era hold? » 11/20/13 1:54pm 11/20/13 1:54pm

Why scientists need to search for alien life on purple planets

Billions of years ago, when microbial life first emerged on Earth, our planet would have appeared purple from space. Armed with this knowledge, scientists now say we should be on the lookout for exoplanets tinged in a similar purple hue — a possible sign of extraterrestrial life. » 11/13/13 7:20am 11/13/13 7:20am

What if you got blackout drunk every time you binged on carbs?

Yes, it's possible. It's called auto-brewery syndrome, and it happens when your stomach gets infected with Saccharomyces cerevisiae – the go-to yeast for brewers of beer. » 9/20/13 11:20am 9/20/13 11:20am

New discovery brings us one step closer to preventing HIV infections

In a breakthrough six years in the making, an international team of researchers has determined the precise atomic structure of a cell-surface receptor that’s used by most strains of HIV to infect human immune cells. The finding could result in medicines that block the process. » 9/12/13 11:47am 9/12/13 11:47am

Possibly the most epic science video you'll watch this week

This video promises "60 epic facts that show why the world is awesome" – and while it's presented by a veritable who's-who of geeky YouTube channel hosts, we'd be lying if we told you we weren't pretty skeptical at the outset. Seven minutes and thirty seconds later, we have to admit: that was pretty epic. » 8/12/13 12:40pm 8/12/13 12:40pm