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XKCD Tips Its Hat to the Microbiome (and so Should You)

When was the last time you thanked the bugs in your belly? Even if the concept of a “healthy” microbiome is flawed, the trillions of microorganisms living in your gut (and mouth, and vagina, and nose, etc.) play a vital role in many of your body’s functions. They’re so essential, many refer to the microbiome as an… » 6/26/15 10:40am 6/26/15 10:40am

Bacteria Can Refuel Via Microscopic Tubes When Times Get Tough

Bacteria can share vital nutrients if their bacterial neighbors happen to have a surplus. Scientists have now determined that this sharing is accomplished not through diffusion of those nutrients into the surrounding environment, but rather via nanotubes that physically link the insides of two bacterial cells together. » 3/02/15 4:30pm 3/02/15 4:30pm

How Tourist Garbage Causes Yellowstone's Morning Glory To Change Color

Decades ago, the Morning Glory pool at Yellowstone National Park was a gorgeous deep blue. But because tourists have thrown coins, rocks, and trash into it for years, the spring has now turned into a sickly yellowish green. Now, a new optics study is shedding light on the pool's unfortunate change of color. » 2/11/15 1:20pm 2/11/15 1:20pm

A Cool New Theory Explains Why Red Wine Is So Damned Good For You

The antioxidant resveratrol, which is found in red wine and other foods like nuts and soy, is known for its ability to decrease incidence of heart disease and other illnesses, leading some to call it the "elixir of youth." Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute now have an explanation for how it works. » 12/23/14 12:20pm 12/23/14 12:20pm

Copper Bedrails Could Dramatically Reduce Hospital Infections

When you check into a hospital your risk of infection rises, and research suggests a major source for these infections are the safety railings on hospital beds. Researchers in Santiago Chile think they have a solution: Replace the usual bedrails with copper ones, which have anti-microbial properties. » 12/18/14 5:30pm 12/18/14 5:30pm

Why You Get Sick On Planes – And How To Keep It From Happening

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? » 11/21/14 12:34pm 11/21/14 12:34pm