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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.
The Year in Biology
While the study of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was the most urgent priority, biologists also learned more about how brains process information, how to define individuality and why sleep deprivation kills.
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.
How Microbiomes Affect Fear
New studies help to explain how microbes in the gut can shape a host’s fear responses.
Soil’s Microbial Market Shows the Ruthless Side of Forests
In the “underground economy” for soil nutrients, fungi strike hard bargains and punish plants that won’t meet their price.