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In the Gut’s ‘Second Brain,’ Key Agents of Health Emerge
Sitting alongside the neurons in your enteric nervous system are underappreciated glial cells, which play key roles in digestion and disease that scientists are only just starting to understand.
Global Microbiome Study Gives New View of Shared Health Risks
The most comprehensive survey of how we share our microbiomes suggests a new way of thinking about the risks of developing some diseases that aren’t usually considered contagious.
Mobile Genes From the Mother Shape the Baby’s Microbiome
Tiny genetic sequences in a mother’s bacteria seem to hop into the infant’s bacteria, perhaps ensuring a healthy microbiome later in life.
She Finds Keys to Ecology in Cells That Steal From Others
The ecologist Holly Moeller studies microorganisms that expand their range by absorbing organelles and gaining new metabolic talents from their prey.
The Gut Microbiome Helps Social Skills Develop in the Brain
New research in fish suggests that gut microbes can have a crucial early influence on the brain’s social development.
How Two Became One: Origins of a Mysterious Symbiosis Found
Carpenter ants need endosymbiotic bacteria to guide the early development of their embryos. New work has reconstructed how this deep partnership evolved.
Some Animals Have No Microbiome. Here’s What That Tells Us.
To stay healthy, humans and some other animals rely on a complex community of bacteria in their guts. But research is starting to show that those partnerships might be more the exception than the rule.