June 21, 2010 |
Something in your gut could be making you fat — and it isn't just last night's pizza. The vast, diverse community of microbes inhabiting the intestines, scientists are finding, can influence metabolism and weight. Between 10 trillion and 100 trillion microbes, mainly bacteria, dwell in a person's colon and small intestine. They function together almost like another of the body's organs, influencing, among other things, how many calories we extract from our food and whether we make or burn fat. Researchers have discovered significant links between gut bacteria and weight and metabolism in mice — and are starting to find similar associations in people.
May 6, 2013 |
Forget boiling, or antiseptic wipes: The best way to clean a Binky may be putting it in your own mouth. A parent who sucks on a baby's pacifier to clean it is loading it up with hundreds of good types of bacteria that live in the adult mouth. That bacteria is transferred via the pacifier to the infant's mouth. It may sound gross, but evidence suggests that those bacteria may help reduce instances of allergy development in babies. In a new study published in Pediatrics, researchers followed 184 infants recruited from a Swedish hospital from birth until most of them were 3 years old. The researchers were specifically looking for allergy-prone babies, and 80% of the sample group had at least one parent with allergies.
May 1, 2013 |
In its first laboratory analysis of ground turkey sold at retail outlets, Consumer Reports found that more than half tested positive for fecal bacteria. The magazine also found that most of the bacteria it found proved resistant to one or more of the antibiotics commonly used to treat them. Some turkey-growing operations use antibiotics only to treat illnesses, but other operations give them to their animals daily, Consumer Reports said. ...
August 31, 2011 |
Think your doctor's white coat is as clean as a whistle? It might not be. A study finds that dangerous germs could be lurking on nurses' and doctors' uniforms. Researchers from Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem cultured three spots on the uniforms of 75 nurses and 60 physicians working in a 550-bed hospital. Potential pathogens (also known as infectious agents, or germs) were found on 63% of the uniforms, and antibiotic resistant bacteria were found on samples from 14% of nurses' uniforms and 6% of doctor's uniforms.
September 27, 2010 |
Doctors and infectious bacteria are locked in an arms race. In this ever-escalating battle, the bacteria evolve ways to avoid every drug humans throw at them. The conflict has intensified lately as more and more bacteria — particularly those lurking in hospitals — become able to resist nearly every antibiotic in our arsenal. "We throw thousands and thousands of antibiotics on bacteria," says Marcin Filutowicz, a microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
November 12, 2009 |
A high-fat, high-sugar diet does more than pump calories into your body. It also alters the composition of bacteria in your intestines, making it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it, research in mice suggests. And the changeover can happen in as little as 24 hours, according to a report Wednesday in the new journal Science Translational Medicine. Many factors play a role in the propensity to gain weight, including genetics, physical activity and the environment, as well as food choices.
July 16, 2013 |
A new study from Penn State University published in the Journal of Food Science reaffirms the necessity to be extremely careful when handling and cooking chicken, even -- and maybe especially -- if it comes from the farmers market. The study , which was limited in size, found that 90% of the 100 chickens purchased at local farmers markets tested positive for campylobacter , a bacteria that can cause serious food poisoning. That compared with only 20% of grocery story chickens carrying the bacteria.
March 12, 2013 |
What happens in a day at the roller derby? For one thing, scientists have discovered and reported Tuesday in the journal PeerJ , a lot of bacteria get swapped around. Researchers at the University of Oregon's Biology and Built Environment Center , a collaboration of architects and biologists who study how design affects the kinds of microbes that live among us, and how it influences our health, recently examined the microbiomes -- the ecosystems of thousands of microorganisms -- on the skin of three roller derby teams before and after a competition.
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.
June 25, 2010 |
Concern about a newborn's bacterial flora is not a topic you're likely to hear discussed in the waiting room of the maternity ward — but that may change. A new study has found that the way in which babies are delivered exposes them to specific bacteria that could play a role in their future health. The study, published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that babies delivered vaginally had microbes on their bodies that resembled their mother's vaginal bacteria, and babies delivered via caesarean section had bacterial communities like those commonly present on adult skin.