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Opinion: Eating Right to Avoid Catastrophe
The key to averting cataclysmic events, such as pandemics, climate change, and mass extinction of species, lies partly in what’s on our plates.
Opinion: Eating Right to Avoid Catastrophe
Opinion: Eating Right to Avoid Catastrophe

The key to averting cataclysmic events, such as pandemics, climate change, and mass extinction of species, lies partly in what’s on our plates.

The key to averting cataclysmic events, such as pandemics, climate change, and mass extinction of species, lies partly in what’s on our plates.

diet
A California coyote above Santa Monica beach
Human Gut Bacteria Show Up in Urban Wildlife
Bianca Nogrady | Sep 12, 2022
The gut microbiomes of city-dwelling animals, including coyotes, lizards, and birds, show similarities to those found in humans who also live in urban environments.
A jar full of artificial sweetener packets.
Artificial Sweeteners Alter Gut Bacteria in Humans
Shafaq Zia | Aug 19, 2022
When consumed for as little as two weeks, common alternatives to sugar affect intestinal bacterial communities, with some reducing the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels, a study finds.
Mummified Gut Bugs Reveal Ancient Dietary Secrets
Mummified Gut Bugs Reveal Ancient Dietary Secrets
Iris Kulbatski, PhD
Reconstructing the diet and microbiome of human ancestors shows an astonishingly rapid loss of microbiome diversity.
Closeup of a person pouring several dietary supplement capsules into their open palm.
Vitamin D Pills Don’t Prevent Bone Fractures, Osteoporosis: Study
Dan Robitzski | Jul 28, 2022
A large trial adds to a growing list of conditions once thought to be helped by vitamin D supplementation.
Photo of several diet foods
Book Excerpt from Anxious Eaters: Why We Fall for Fad Diets
Janet Chrzan and Kima Cargill | Jul 25, 2022
In Chapter 1, “Why We Love Fad Diets,” authors Janet Chrzan and Kima Cargill explain the American propensity to take shortcuts to weight loss.
image-2021-08-16-08-24-55-620
Could a Synthetic Probiotic Replace a Strict Diet for Patients with Phenylketonuria?
Roni Dengler, PhD
Synthetic biologists introduced an engineered microbe that may lead to new treatment options for phenylketonuria.
Photo of several diet foods
Opinion: Why We Fall for Fad Diets
Janet Chrzan | Jul 18, 2022
Human beings are susceptible to the latest nutritional trends, regardless of their actual biological value.
multiple generations of family members eating at outdoor table
Sun Exposure Triggers Hunger in Men but Not Women, Study Suggests
Shafaq Zia | Jul 12, 2022
Ultraviolet radiation leads to secretion of an appetite-boosting hormone in male mice, but experts say it’s not yet clear whether the mechanism applies to humans.
Photo taken from the perspective of a lab worker in a white coat and purple gloves preparing multiple fecal transplant capsules at a time.
Banking Previous Poos: Could a Transplant of Feces from Your Past Heal You?
Dan Robitzski | Jun 30, 2022
The Scientist spoke with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School researchers Scott Weiss and Yang-Yu Liu, who propose that people bank stool samples when they’re young and healthy so that they can be transplanted to rejuvenate the gut microbiome later on.
Artist’s rendition of bright blue microbes among intestinal lining
Study Links Depression with High Levels of an Amino Acid
Dan Robitzski | Jun 14, 2022
Experiments in animals and observations in humans suggest that the amount of proline circulating in one’s plasma has a strong association with depression severity.
Image of not-to-scale renderings of the skulls of various primate species
Surface Area of Tooth Roots Predicts Primate Body Size
Maddie Bender | May 2, 2022
Researchers determine that a primate’s tooth root, and not just its crown, can yield reliable information about body size, but the relationship between root surface area and diet isn’t as clear.
Black and white photograph of Stamler looking into the camera.
“Father of Preventive Cardiology” Jeremiah Stamler Dies at 102
Lisa Winter | Feb 18, 2022
He was among the first to identify lifestyle factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease.
Illustration of gray bacteriophages approaching and infecting a red and orange bacteria that has multiple fimbria protruding from it.
Bacteria-Infecting Viruses in Gut Microbiome Linked to Cognition
Dan Robitzski | Feb 16, 2022
Research in mice and flies suggests that bacteriophages, including those found in dairy foods, may have an influence on an animals’ ability to learn and remember information.
illustration of inside of human chest with highlighted gland between the lungs
Genetically Altered Mice Harness Benefits of Calorie Restriction  
Sophie Fessl | Feb 11, 2022
A study identifies a gene that appears to be partially responsible for the health effects of a limited diet.
Artist's impression of the human microbiome
Diet Implicated in Autism-Microbiome Link
Ruth Williams | Nov 11, 2021
The unbalanced gut flora present in some people with autism is not a driver of the condition but rather a consequence of eating behaviors characteristic of the condition, a new study claims.
Man in a white shirt and a large backpack stands on a hill overlooking dense forest
Public Health Pioneer Peter Pharoah Dies at 87
Dan Robitzski | Nov 11, 2021
Pharoah’s work ended endemic cretinism in a remote region of Papua New Guinea and contributed to the understanding of myriad other perinatal health conditions.
salt on a black background
Salty Diet Helps Gut Bugs Fight Cancer in Mice: Study
Sophie Fessl | Sep 20, 2021
A high-salt diet suppressed the growth of tumors in a mouse model of melanoma, apparently because of an interplay between the gut microbiome and natural killer cells.
Six primates eat leaves
Umami Taste Receptor Evolved with Primates’ Diets
Abby Olena | Sep 6, 2021
A study suggests that mutations in the gene that encodes the T1R1/T1R3 taste receptor allowed primates that relied on insects for protein to transition to eating leaves and fruit.
Three researchers with headlamps on stand around a loggerhead turtle on the beach while a man covers the turtle's face with a gloved hand
Tiny Hitchhikers Reveal Turtles’ Movements and Foraging Ecology
Amanda Heidt | Jul 13, 2021
Microscopic creatures called epibionts that live on sea turtles’ shells can help researchers understand their secretive lives.