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a white mouse sits on a blue exercise wheel, looking out onto the shavings below
Mice With a Healthy Gut Microbiome Are More Motivated to Exercise
A neural pathway between the gut and the brain led to the release of dopamine when the mice ran on a wheel or treadmill, but only in the presence of a robust microbiome. 
Mice With a Healthy Gut Microbiome Are More Motivated to Exercise
Mice With a Healthy Gut Microbiome Are More Motivated to Exercise

A neural pathway between the gut and the brain led to the release of dopamine when the mice ran on a wheel or treadmill, but only in the presence of a robust microbiome. 

A neural pathway between the gut and the brain led to the release of dopamine when the mice ran on a wheel or treadmill, but only in the presence of a robust microbiome. 

gut microbiota
Matthieu Groussin sits with three other people on stools in front of a low table, on which there are several bowls of food. Another person stands above Groussin spooning something into a bowl.
Q&A: Gathering Diverse Microbiome Samples
Katherine Irving | Nov 3, 2022 | 8 min read
Cofounders of a microbiome biobank speak with The Scientist about their new partnership with nonprofit OpenBiome and how to ethically work with donors.
A California coyote above Santa Monica beach
Human Gut Bacteria Show Up in Urban Wildlife
Bianca Nogrady | Sep 12, 2022 | 2 min read
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.
An abstract stained-glass portrait of a woman with an image of an eye representing the brain
Through the Looking Glass: Aging, Inflammation, and Gut Rejuvenation
Iris Kulbatski, PhD | 4 min read
Renewing the aging gut microbiome holds promise for preventing inflammatory brain and eye degeneration.
A premature infant drinking from a bottle
In Search of the Best Milk Recipe for Preemies’ Gut Bacteria
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Aug 22, 2022 | 5 min read
Milk fortifiers of human origin show no evident advantage in the development of the gut microbiota of premature infants over fortifiers derived from cows, while the intake of the mother’s own milk does, two studies suggest.
A jar full of artificial sweetener packets.
Artificial Sweeteners Alter Gut Bacteria in Humans
Shafaq Zia | Aug 19, 2022 | 4 min read
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.
A person holding a section of his face and looking in to his brain through a magnifying glass stock illustration
Science Philosophy in a Flash - A Look at Aging Through Young Eyes 
Iris Kulbatski, PhD | 1 min read
Aimée Parker shares how her childlike curiosity and collaborative spirit motivate her scientific pursuits.
illustration of inside of gut with floating bacteria
Finding Could Pave the Way to New, Targeted Antibody Treatments
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Jul 8, 2022 | 3 min read
IgA antibodies appear to bind to specific species of commensal gut bacteria in mice, according to a study.
A section of a mouse distal colon showing luminal contents with bacteria in magenta, the mucus lining (green) and the epithelial cell barrier of the gut (blue, right).
Mapping the Neighborhoods of the Gut Microbiome
Abby Olena, PhD | Jul 1, 2022 | 7 min read
Researchers are going beyond fecal samples to understand how the patterns of commensal microbes in the gastrointestinal tract influence development and health.
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 | 5 min read
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.
Person taking antibiotic pill
What Happens to the Gut Microbiome After Taking Antibiotics?
Sophie Fessl, PhD | May 5, 2022 | 5 min read
Studies are finding that a single course of antibiotics alters the gut microbiomes of healthy volunteers—and that it can take months or even years to recover the original species composition.
Baby with spotted onsie about to get injection of vaccine
Antibiotics Tied to Lower Effectiveness of Childhood Vaccines
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Apr 28, 2022 | 2 min read
Use of the drugs in children under the age of two was associated with lower antibody levels after the jabs—perhaps, researchers suggest, due to microbiome alterations.
illustration of neurons in blue with synapses lighting up
Gut Molecule Linked to Decreased Myelination in Mouse Brains
Angie Voyles Askham, Spectrum | Feb 17, 2022 | 4 min read
A study shows that a molecule produced by intestinal microbes can enter the brain and that its presence is also associated with altered brain connectivity.
small striped mammal
Gut Microbes Help Ground Squirrels Endure Hibernation
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Jan 27, 2022 | 4 min read
By breaking down urea, the animals’ gut bacteria recycle nitrogen, which can be then used to build new molecules during prolonged fasting.
Artist's impression of the human microbiome
Diet Implicated in Autism-Microbiome Link
Ruth Williams | Nov 11, 2021 | 3 min read
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.
illustration of colorful microbes inside a person's stomach and intestines
How Commensal Gut Bacteria Keep Pathogens in Check
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Oct 14, 2021 | 7 min read
Recent studies describe how resident microbiota appear to outcompete unwelcome visitors, either with superior weaponry or by guzzling up local resources.  
salt on a black background
Salty Diet Helps Gut Bugs Fight Cancer in Mice: Study
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Sep 20, 2021 | 4 min read
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.
elongated blue bacterial cells on a reddish-brown background
Gut Microbiome May Help or Hinder Defenses Against SARS-CoV-2
Bianca Nogrady | Aug 31, 2021 | 7 min read
The health of the microbial community is associated with COVID-19 severity, but it’s not yet clear if the relationship is causal.
white and yellow colonies growing on a petri dish
Gut Fungi Hamper Radiation Therapy in Mice with Cancer
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Aug 11, 2021 | 3 min read
Depleting intestinal fungi allows radiation to effectively fight cancer, likely because the microbes influence the antitumor immune response.
Infographic: Maternal Microbiota Has Lasting Effects on Offspring
Carolyn A. Thomson and Kathy D. McCoy | Aug 1, 2021 | 3 min read
Work in rodents shows that the bacteria living in a mother’s gut can produce immunomodulatory metabolites and influence the production of maternal antibodies—both of which can affect her offspring’s development.
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