Last week, an Israeli team of researchers revealed how a bacterial species can become a "zombie" and then spread it to others causing an apocalypse. Making this observation even more interesting was what they used to trigger the outbreak. It wasn't a living organism. Instead, it was a chemical: silver.
Within your feces is a species of bacteria that may one day be able to help prevent inflammatory disorders including colitis, inflammatory bowel disease and possibly even Crohn's disease. It's known as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and has the potential to become one of the next generation probiotics.
The question has plagued dental professionals for years. Is chewing gum good or bad for your teeth? Last week, an international team of researchers provided the first comprehensive look at the impact of gum on oral health. It seems a few minutes of gum chewing might be an excellent way to keep a healthy mouth.
If a person continued to supplement bacteria with our health in its best interests, such as probiotics, mutiny may be prevented or at least belayed. With more research, we may be able to prove this point and find a means to offer the elderly, the sick and even the brokenhearted a way to prevent the onslaught of virulence and live a happier, longer life.
As the Spice Girls proclaim, spicing up your food can definitely spice up your life and offer joy both emotionally and physiologically. Whether you choose the bitterness of garlic, the sweetness of cinnamon or the umami and heat of a kimchi, you can ensure the time is filled with joy rather than pain.
A closer inspection of the bacterial species revealed only few pathogenic species. Of those, most were unable to survive over long periods of time. There was little to no risk for infection. As to the majority of bacteria found, they were common, and harmless, fecal and skin bacteria. Even high frequency use of a toilet could not develop pathogens in high enough levels to cause infection.
It's been a rather tough year for artificial sweeteners. In that time, three new studies have been released suggesting they are poor substitutes for sugar. In the spring, an investigation into their use revealed a disconcerting association with the onset of depression. Then, a long-term analysis of their use revealed they may contribute to overall weight gain.
Antibiotics were the first and still are the go-to means of microbial distraction. However, in light of the continuing rise of antibiotic resistance, their usefulness is limited and we need to explore other options. One such ally is a living organism known to have just as much of a hatred for infectious bacteria: the bacteriophage.
The value of good germs has been known for decades. This was epitomized last month when an international group of researchers illustrated how the use of genetically modified probiotics could prevent chronic disease. Using only a specifically designed bacterium, they could prevent obesity in mice giving them a healthier life.
Researchers at the University of Toronto have found that gut bacteria drive a common form of colon cancer, and that a low-carbohydrate diet can prevent the disease. The researchers found that microbes in the intestine convert carbohydrates into metabolites that spur cancer growth. A low-carbohydrate diet shut down this process and led to a 75 per cent reduction in cancer incidence.
In terms of statistics, 12 per cent grew antibiotic resistance and became marginalized from others. Twenty-eight per cent of the population chose a wealthy style, happily living in their gated biofilms. Half of all the bacteria decided to take a middle-class lifestyle, choosing an easy nutrient source and never engaging in any extreme activity.
Heart health is a complex study and requires a proper lifestyle to maintain. Yet, as the researchers have shown, should there appear to be signs of problems, such as continual chest pains, palpitations, lightheadedness, shortness of breath and fatigue; there may be yet another option for diagnosis and treatment to avoid a heartbreaking end.
When it comes to the climb of pop stardom, Miley Cyrus has proven she can't be tamed. Earlier this month, the singer posted a photo showing a new tattoo in a rather unlikely place: her lower lip. Unlike the other maneuvers, which may have social consequences, this one could lead to medical problems.
The results suggested bacteria are continually in communication with one another. When times get dire, they attempt to find anyone who might have resistance and be willing to pass it on. Once there is a yes, a crowd appears, all hoping for the same gift. Once they get it, they head off to do the same.
Many of us cannot wait for Mother Nature and journey to one of a plethora of pleasant places famous for their warmth. Amongst the most popular destinations, including Florida, California and the Caribbean, exist some of the most desirable beaches where millions congregate to take in the joys of sun, sea, sand, and unfortunately germs.
Unlike humans, who need on average 20 years between generations, these small creatures only need about 20 minutes to foster offspring. This means that the bacterium can evolve some 500,000 times faster than us. This rapid rate offers the prime opportunity to explore some of the deeper mysteries and perhaps even offer mechanisms to best predict when evolution might happen to us.