November 25, 2013 |
Think some cheese smells like feet? Well, now there's a cheese that has more than just that foot odor - it's actually made from human foot bacteria. An exhibit in Dublin features cheese made by taking swabs of human bacteria - from armpits, mouths, in between toes and in belly buttons - and adding milk to it. Biologist Christina Agapakis worked with odor artist Sissel Tolaas to create the cheeses, which they hope will challenge how we think about bacteria. "Cheese is actually a really great model organism for us to think about good and bad bacteria but also good and bad smells," Agapakis said at a presentation at the PopTech conference last month.
October 9, 2013 |
With 300 people already sickened by a salmonella outbreak in Foster Farms chicken, consumers are being reminded to take extra precautions when handling raw poultry. High on that list is something counterintuitive: Don't wash raw chicken in the sink. Researchers say all that splashing can send bacteria soaring up to 3 feet away, onto your countertops, towels and dish racks. That increases the chance of it landing on other foods or on your hands. Here's what the U.S. Department of Agriculture has to say: "Some consumers think they are removing bacteria and making their meat or poultry safe.
October 3, 2013 |
Fecal transplants are gaining ground as a highly effective treatment for recurrent infection with the intestinal bacteria clostridium difficile . But the "yuck factor" of the procedure continues to deter physicians from offering it to patients who could benefit, said a practicing gastroenterologist, who has come up with a solution to the problem: a gelatin capsule filled with the highly compacted fecal matter of a patient's family member. "There is no smell. We basically have a little cubette of microbes and we pour it into the capsules," said Dr. Thomas Louie of the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.
September 20, 2013 |
Beware of magical discoveries: They generally require careful use lest the magic wear off. Even the genie's lamp gave only three wishes. Antibiotics, which at one point were viewed as miracle drugs providing cures for previously fatal illnesses, are among the discoveries that have been used too carelessly, giving rise to an era of resistant infections. Scientists have been concerned about these resistant bacteria - methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , or MRSA, is probably the most familiar - for many years.
September 5, 2013 |
The microorganisms in the human gut appear to play a pivotal role in determining whether a person is lean or obese, new research shows. The study, published online Thursday by the journal Science, is the strongest evidence yet that what's inside an individual's digestive tract influences the risk of obesity and its related health problems, such as Type 2 diabetes. The work helps explain the nation's 30-year run-up in excess weight - and it may supply a potential solution to the resulting epidemic, experts said.
August 22, 2013 |
Nothing gets our attention like pain. But pain is more than the body's miniature cattle prod to get us to heed a wound, rest a swollen ankle, or stop eating chili peppers. Pain may be the language between animals and microbes. Far from being a product of an inflamed immune system, aggravated nerves far from the spine and brain appear to communicate with invading bacteria and regulate the fight against them, according to a study published online Wednesday in the journal Nature.