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As a parent, your job is to protect your kids from harm and stories of superbugs and flesh-eating viruses may have you liberally basting your children with hand sanitizer, and cleaning your home with chemicals that promise to send bacteria packing. Well, put down the bleach and put your feet up. As it turns out, dirt is actually good for our kids!
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Though the circadian rhythm is hard to control directly, researchers have learned it can be trained indirectly through diet. By switching the timing and content of meals, we can change that inner clock to better reflect the world outside. How exactly food can change our rest patterns happens has been difficult to figure out yet over the past few years, one particular culprit has been identified: our microbial population.
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Over the last decade, researchers have gained insight into how certain gut microbes, particularly bacteria, influence our health. They have learned the mere presence of some species can affect us. Yet the majority of effects on wellness come as a result of the byproducts these organisms make.
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A tradition that has stood the test of time in Canada and the United States is a love for the yeast-brewed, amber, foamy liquid known universally as beer. It doesn't matter where you are in these countries, you can always be sure to find at least one place where you can grab a pint, mug, bottle or can. The microbial manufacturer responsible for beer, yeast, loves to evolve. Many strains have changed over the years as have the tastes of their final outcomes. However, there is one strain of yeast that has remained exactly the same for over 100 years.
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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.
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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.
For most people, mucus is considered to be a bad thing. It's commonly associated with respiratory infections as well as more chronic conditions such as cystic fibrosis, ulcerative colitis, and even cancer. But, this thick composite is an integral part of our anatomy, providing both lubrication and protection to internal cells exposed to the environment.
Like clockwork, when a new diet appears in the public, there is a mix of praise and scrutiny. Despite the information gathered on the benefits of the Paleo diet on the body, there has been far less focus on the effect of the nutritional guidelines on the gut microbiota, which is a driver of human health.
For much of human history we lived close to the natural world. As civilization evolved we became increasingly urbanized, and most of us now live in cities. As we've moved away from nature, we've seen a decline in other forms of life. Biodiversity is disappearing.
Are you a germaphobe? If so then what I am about to tell you might blow your mind. For every one cell that we have in our bodywe have 10 bacteria cells that call us home. We need to start thinking differently about how we feed ourselves if we want to optimize health and nutrition. We need to stop eating for one and start eating for one trillion.
We focus on charismatic species like whales, pandas, cedar trees and seals as poster children for conservation. But the small things that keep the biosphere going for creatures like us are probably more threatened because we ignore them. If we spend time studying them, they have much to teach us.
So much for the five-second rule. Another urban mommy myth bites the big one. Seems anything that drops on the floor -- be it the cookie or the soother -- is contaminated long before those five seconds are up. According to the medical director of the infection prevention and control program at Loyola University Health System, Jorge Parada. "When it comes to folklore, the 'five-second rule' should be replaced with 'when in doubt, throw it out.'"
A recent microbiology study of the office has gone further than any other and provided a path for the improvement of the quality of life in the office environment. The team swabbed offices in three major American cities and found the usual suspects -- fecal bacteria, skin bacteria -- but also identified 500 other types of microbes...