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Articles on Microbes

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The microbes in the mother’s gut can alter the number of neurons in the baby’s brain and the connections they make. bestdesigns/Getty Images

How a pregnant mouse’s microbes influence offspring’s brain development – new study offers clues

Microbes in the gut aren't just important for digesting your food. In pregnant women, these gut microbes are producing chemicals that are essential for proper brain development of the fetus.
Compost awaiting distribution at the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District’s Rancho Las Virgenes compost facility, Calabasas, Calif. Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

City compost programs turn garbage into ‘black gold’ that boosts food security and social justice

Turning food scraps and yard trimmings into compost improves soil, making it easier for people to grow their own food. City composting programs spread those benefits more widely.
Sunlight, ventilation and relative humidity all affect the microbiome of indoor spaces. iStock / Getty Images Plus

Buildings have their own microbiomes – we’re striving to make them healthy places

We spend 90% of our lives indoors, and every building has its own indoor microbiome. Can we learn to manage them in ways that support helpful microbes and suppress harmful ones?
U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, center, demonstrates hand-washing to U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, left, and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, right, in Rocky Hill, Conn., March 2, 2020. AP Photo/Jessica Hill

Why hand-washing really is as important as doctors say

As the coronavirus spreads, public health officials stress the importance of hand washing. But can it really make that much of a difference? A microbiologist explains why.
Affluent neighborhoods have very different microbes from those in poor ones. Zentangle/Shutterstock.com

Inequity takes a toll on your gut microbes, too

You probably know about the collection of microorganisms that live in, on and around us. But did you know that not everyone in society has equal access to them? That needs to change.

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