Rapists Could Be Identified With The Bacteria On Their Pubic Hair

The results of a new study suggest forensic scientists could one day use the microbial signature of people's privates to identify sexual offenders. Think of it as a musty, microscopic, x-rated fingerprint. » 12/17/14 1:40pm 12/17/14 1:40pm

What Would Happen If All The Earth's Microbes Suddenly Disappeared?

It's generally agreed that life on this planet would not be possible if it weren't for microbes. In a fascinating thought experiment, a pair of biologists scrutinized this assumption to find out. As their paper makes clear, a microbe-free world would be a strange place, indeed. » 12/17/14 9:40am 12/17/14 9:40am

Your Weight Doesn't Just Depend on What You Eat, But When You Eat It

We all know that diet can dramatically affect our health, both mentally and physically. But a new study shows that an off-kilter eating schedule could also affect well-being, too. Here's why. » 10/17/14 4:30pm 10/17/14 4:30pm

Popping Frozen Poop Pills Can Stave Off Dangerous Bacterial Infections

Fecal transplants are an effective way to combat C. difficile infections, but they're typically delivered by enema or a tube down the digestive system. Not pleasant. But thankfully, scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital have now made the healing powers of poop available in pill form. » 10/14/14 6:00pm 10/14/14 6:00pm

Researchers Isolate A Gut Microbe That Combats Food Allergies

Food allergies have risen dramatically in recent years, leading scientists to speculate about possible environmental factors. A recent study suggests that antibiotics may be destroying a key gut microbe — one that could be reintroduced into the body, to restore proper immune function. » 8/26/14 1:22pm 8/26/14 1:22pm

You May Not Know About One of the Most Important Organs in Your Body

Billions of microbes live in your gut. Together they form a "microbiome," and they are so important to your health and moods that biologists now call the gut microbiome an internal organ. But what is this organ and how does it work? This video from Youreka Science explains it all for you. » 7/01/14 4:06pm 7/01/14 4:06pm

Watch This Scary Amazing Talk About How Parasites Control the World

Last week, science journalist Ed Yong gave a very uncharacteristic TED talk. It wasn't designed to make you feel good — in fact, it was actually a bit sarcastic, full of crawly descriptions of how parasites control behavior. But it blew the audience away. » 3/26/14 12:21pm 3/26/14 12:21pm

Why Dark Chocolate Is So Damn Good For You

From improving heart health to alleviating the effects of depression, dark chocolate is renowned for its remarkable health benefits. A recent study now points to one of the reasons why — and it has to do with dark chocolate's unique chemistry, plus the microbes in our stomach who find it equally delicious. » 3/18/14 12:20pm 3/18/14 12:20pm

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

When Good Bacteria Go Bad

The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus is a benign resident of the human microbiome. But in the last 15 years, a strain of it has evolved to become a major public health problem. To understand how everyday microbes can change so dramatically, laboratories are investigating how bacterial communities exchange genetic… » 12/11/13 4:47pm 12/11/13 4:47pm

Your body is an ecosystem

The majority of cells in your body belong to microbes, not your own tissues. In a very real sense, you are an ecosystem more than a unified organism. And this gorgeously illustrated animation by Ben Arthur gives you an idea of what that means. » 12/02/13 9:52am 12/02/13 9:52am

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

Could the microbes in your gut actually help you lose weight?

Over the last decade, we've discovered that the microbes that live in your guts can affect your body weight. Researchers can even make mice fatter or thinner by implanting them with gut microbes from obese or lean humans. Could this lead to microbe-based therapies for obesity? » 9/05/13 2:53pm 9/05/13 2:53pm

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

A fascinating new hypothesis that could explain (and prevent) AIDS

Over at Youreka Science, medical researcher Florie Charles has a great video that introduces you to a cutting-edge hypothesis about how HIV progresses into the fatal disease AIDS. If correct, we may be able to develop treatments that would prevent AIDS from taking hold. » 7/22/13 10:09am 7/22/13 10:09am

What can the DNA in your poop teach us about ethics?

A scientist has posted the results of DNA analysis of his poop online. It's literally the shittiest dataset ever released to the public domain! But it's also a wellspring for serious discussion about new areas of biological research — and the weird new ethical considerations that go along with them. » 5/28/13 1:00pm 5/28/13 1:00pm

This Fungus Is Growing All Over Your Body

Your body is covered in tiny fungal ecosystems. No, really, it is. And now, for the first time, scientists have mapped the places where fungus grows the most on your skin. » 5/23/13 11:40am 5/23/13 11:40am

This microbe is making you fat

The difference between an obese person and a thinner one may not be just diet. Certain microbes that live naturally in our guts may contribute a great deal to whether we become obese and develop obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes. A study published this week demonstrated that a person suffering from obesity… » 12/21/12 4:20pm 12/21/12 4:20pm