Your belly button is teeming with microbial life—a mix of many different species unique to you. Brooklyn-based artist Joana Ricou creates “portraits” based on individual microbiomes. The result is some surprisingly lovely imagery.
Holistic health advocate Deepak Chopra is at it again, this time spouting his patented food nonsense at the “Fat Summit” online conference. While speaking to celebrity doctor and alternative medicine enthusiast Mark Hyman, Chopra explained that the vast collection of microbes in our gut are actually capable of…
Like every other surface of your body, your mouth is teeming with a panoply of bacteria. It’s a thought most of us try to keep buried in the backs of our minds, but a new study shows that the tiny communities flourishing between your molars can be quite pretty. In a kaleidoscopic nightmare-fuel sort of way.
A new genetic analysis of human gut bacteria is turning up some really weird critters—so weird, in fact, that some biologists are speculating we’ve found an entirely new domain of life. We should take that possibility with a healthy dose of skepticism. But here’s why it’s even being discussed.
Intestinal worms have an incredibly bad reputation. The thought of them sneaking around inside our bodies and eating us from the inside is pretty unpleasant. But for decades, results coming out of lab after lab have shown that some kinds of helminths can be extremely beneficial to their host, and aren’t parasites at…
Bad news, hypochondriacs: You’re walking in a massive cloud of bacteria. In fact, it’s kinda an extension of your body, and no amount of showering will rid you of it. Even better: It grew out of your mouth, poop and skin.
We all have our personal feelings about how a burger should be cooked. But if there’s one thing that’s universally agreed upon, it’s that a burger on bun with ketchup and toppings should be very much dead. In reality, that’s not the case at all.
The trillions of bacteria that live on us and in us—otherwise known as our microbiomes—are vital to our health in ways we’re just beginning to understand. Now scientists have discovered the most diverse collection of bodily bacteria ever, in a remote Amazonian tribe of southern Venezuela.
Scientists now know that gut microbes almost certainly play a role in us getting fat, and poop transplants are sometimes touted as a potential route to weight loss. But if that’s a little too icky for you, Vanderbilt scientists have been experimenting with more refined microbiome tinkering in mice using genetically…
Three years ago, I gently brushed fiber-tipped swabs against the surfaces of my tiny New York apartment. Microbes live everywhere, and I was gathering samples for genetic analysis — I wanted to identify my microscopic housemates.
The results of a massive new DNA sequencing project on the New York City subway have just been published. And yup, there's a lot of bacteria on the subway—though we know most of it is harmless. What's really important, though, is what we don't know about it.
The bacteria living in our guts play in an active role is feeding us, whether it's breaking down nutrients our own stomachs can't handle, or synthesizing vitamins. Here's one more intriguing piece of the puzzle: a molecule excreted by the bacteria digesting fiber makes us feel more full.
In the past few decades, food allergies have been increasingly and mysteriously on the rise. A possible explanation lies with our gut bacteria, which have been reshaped by our soap- and antibiotics-laden lifestyles. A new study in mice adds intriguing evidence: one particular type of bacteria prevents sensitivity to…
Today, scientists report the discovery of an incredibly common new virus that lives inside human gut bacteria. It's called crAssphage (more on the name later!), and it's about six times more abundant than all other known bacterial viruses put together. How did we miss it for so long?
On the heels of great news that dark chocolate really is good for you, researchers have found out some new crap. A study about why chocolate is good for you points to the bacteria that lurk inside your colon.
By now, you've probably heard of the miracle that is the fecal transplant. When antibiotics become useless against infections by the nasty bacterium Clostrium difficile, a slurry of human feces—full of "good" bacteria—piped into the gut can fix things up quick and cheap. The problem has always been a reliable source…