Category Archives: Microbial

Gut flora is mostly influenced by species, not diet

Do diet and other environmental factors largely influence microbial composition in the gut, or is this mostly determined by the species of the host? This is a question that has supportive research on each side, but a new paper by Ochman et al. offers more clarity on the issue. The authors chose great apes (and 2 humans) as their study subjects.  They obtained gut microbial samples and sequenced mitochondrial DNA of the hosts from fecal samples of eastern and western lowland gorillas, bonobos, Read more [...]

Mycobacterium vaccae improves learning in mice

This will no doubt make news when it is published (though I can already picture the absurd headlines): From this years General Meeting for the American Society for Microbiology, there was a very intriguing interview. Mycobacterium vaccae, found in soil, previously known to effect serotonin among other things when injected in mice, and improve mood in early human trials when injected, was tested in mice on learning processes by Dorothy Matthews and a colleague. She states in the video (embedded Read more [...]