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image: Gene Jumped to All Three Domains of Life

Gene Jumped to All Three Domains of Life

By Kerry Grens | December 1, 2014

By horizontal gene transfer, an antibacterial gene family has dispersed to a plant, an insect, several fungi, and an archaeon.

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image: Microflora for Hire

Microflora for Hire

By Molly Sharlach | December 1, 2014

The guts of cows and termites harbor microbes that are renowned complex-carbohydrate digesters, but the human gastrointestinal tract has flora that just might measure up.

2 Comments

image: Polymerase Pieces

Polymerase Pieces

By Jef Akst | December 1, 2014

Researchers discover a new subunit of a bacterial RNA polymerase—as well as hints of its potential role in defending against viruses.

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image: Virus Protects Mouse Gut

Virus Protects Mouse Gut

By Tracy Vence | November 19, 2014

A murine norovirus appears to recover some of the functions of commensal bacteria in the guts of germ-free or antibiotic-treated mice.

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image: Virus May Explain “Melting” Sea Stars

Virus May Explain “Melting” Sea Stars

By Molly Sharlach | November 19, 2014

Researchers discover a densovirus that is associated with sea star wasting disease.

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image: Sealed With a Kiss

Sealed With a Kiss

By Bob Grant | November 17, 2014

A single intimate smooch can transfer upwards of 80 million bacteria.

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image: Week in Review: November 10–14

Week in Review: November 10–14

By Jef Akst | November 14, 2014

Funding for African science; microbiome studies may have contamination worries; mind-controlled gene expression; DNA record keeper

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image: Chronic Weed Use Shrinks Brain Region

Chronic Weed Use Shrinks Brain Region

By Bob Grant | November 12, 2014

Long-term marijuana smokers have less gray matter in their orbitofrontal cortex than nonsmokers, but other brain circuits may compensate by increasing connectivity.

2 Comments

image: DNA Extraction Kits Contaminated

DNA Extraction Kits Contaminated

By Kerry Grens | November 11, 2014

Sequencing study reveals low levels of microbes in lab reagents that can create big problems for some microbiome studies.

1 Comment

image: Jet Lag Upsets Gut Microbes

Jet Lag Upsets Gut Microbes

By Bob Grant | October 17, 2014

Frequent airplane travel may contribute to obesity by throwing off circadian rhythms and changing the composition of the intestinal microbiome, according to a new study.

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