Articles on Microbes

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Millions of Americans suffer from food allergies. Albina Glisic/Shutterstock.com

Are microbes causing your milk allergy?

There has been a dramatic rise in life-threatening food allergies in the last few decades. Antibiotics, poor diet and C-sections have all been implicated. Now new evidence points to gut microbes.
Antibiotic-resistant germs can thrive in the presence of these drugs. Lightspring/Shutterstock.com

How to train the body’s own cells to combat antibiotic resistance

Our bodies have a set of defenses that are finely tuned for killing invading microbes. With rising cases of drug-resistant bacteria, maybe boosting our natural defenses is the best medicine.
A recent study estimates that high temperatures and drought will lead to drastic losses for all major food crops, including maize and wheat. (Shutterstock)

Microbial aromas might save crops from drought

The microbes living in the soils around plant roots can help plants deal with a variety of stresses.
If it’s been out longer than four hours, it’s best to throw it away. By Merrimon Crawford

Health Check: when should you throw away leftovers?

Did you forget to put the leftovers away? If it's only an hour or two, that's OK, but as the temperature drops under 60 degrees, the risk of bacterial growth – and food poisoning – increases.
A capsule with a genetically engineered bacterium for therapeutic purposes. abrakadabra / Shutterstock.com

Living drugs: Engineering bacteria to treat genetic diseases

Researchers are exploring the possibility of creating living drugs – designer microbes that can live in our guts and provide critical components that our body needs but can't make itself.
Human poo is a concoction made up mostly of water with a sprinkling of the solid stuff. from www.shutterstock.com

Your poo is (mostly) alive. Here’s what’s in it

Around 75% of our faeces is made up of water. The other 25% is the good stuff, including bacteria, viruses and undigested food.
An ingredient in toothpaste and other personal care products may be harming the microbes in our gut and leaving us vulnerable to disease. Ilya Andriyanov/shutterstock.com

Triclosan, a common antimicrobial in toothpaste and other products, linked to inflammation and cancer in the gut

Triclosan is found in thousands of personal care products from toothpaste to soap. New research links it to inflammation and cancer in the gut in mice, by disrupting their microbiome.
Though examining poop samples scientists working on the American Gut Project are getting a new perspective on the microbes in our guts. By Christos Georghiou/Shutterstock.com

Studying poop samples, scientists find clues on health and disease

In the largest citizen science experiment to date, 11,336 people sent poop samples to this San Diego lab so that microbiologists could figure out how the microbes in our guts make us healthy or sick.

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