Are gut bacteria the reason people who live in cold regions get fat?

Numerous animals, humans included, have adapted to living in cold climates by increasing their body size. And now, researchers have found that people living in colder regions have more obesity-related gut microbes than their warm-region counterparts. Are bacteria the reason why it's harder to lose weight in the snow? » 2/11/14 4:01pm 2/11/14 4:01pm

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… » 1/23/14 11:00am 1/23/14 11:00am

A weird new insight into how new species evolve

When two populations of a species are separated for many generations, their genomes start to drift apart as they adapt to their different environments. Eventually they can become two distinct species. But new research now suggests it's not always incompatible DNA that halts interbreeding — sometimes it's incompatible… » 7/22/13 3:40pm 7/22/13 3:40pm

How a poop transplant could someday save your life

A recent Henry Ford Hospital study has shown the effectiveness of an unconventional therapy in which donated human stool can be used treat the deadly and contagious Clostridium difficile (C. diff) bacterial infection. The procedure, which works by revitalizing healthy intestinal microbial activity, could eventually… » 10/22/12 8:15am 10/22/12 8:15am

Rise in allergies has nothing to do with exposure to disease

Back in the late 1980s, scientists suggested that the sudden spike in allergy sufferers was the result of living in sterile homes and overzealous hygiene practices. Our immune systems, went the thinking, weren't being exposed to potentially important infections. A recent report, however, indicates that this "Hygiene… » 10/03/12 9:40am 10/03/12 9:40am

When people explode during colonoscopies

Few people, if any, look forward to colonoscopies. They're annoying to prepare for. (Liquid diet? No thank you.) They're invasive. (It's a camera. In your butt.) They're scary. (Even if it's just a routine screening, there's always a chance your doctor will find something up there that requires medical attention.) … » 9/24/12 11:13am 9/24/12 11:13am

10 Ways the Human Microbiome Project Could Change the Future of Science…

When astronomers talk about the number of planets in the Milky Way Galaxy, they talk in terms of hundreds of billions. When microbiologists talk about the Human Microbiome — the bacteria, viruses and fungi living in and on each of our bodies — they talk in terms of hundreds of trillions. » 6/25/12 10:28am 6/25/12 10:28am

Our bodies are a global marketplace where bacteria trade genes

There is a vast, unseen marketplace that connects us all. The traders are the trillions of bacteria that live on or within our bodies; the commodities they exchange are genes. This flow of genes around our bodies allows bacteria to rapidly evolve new skills, including the abilities to resist antibiotics, cause… » 11/16/11 4:38pm 11/16/11 4:38pm