So you want to start studying poop, but you aren't a microbiologist?
Several hybrid animal species exist in the world. Cross a donkey dad and a horse mom, you get a mule. Switch those parent roles around (donkey mom, horse mom) and you get a hinny. Such hybrids are most often sterile, and in some pairings, the offspring will not even survive. This phenomenon is known as … Continue reading #17 A helping hand in evolution
This weekend, as we celebrate Mother's Day across the world, let us take a moment to reflect on the multitude of awesome ways that moms use their microbes to help protect their babies and guide their development. Thanks Mom! Microbes protect eggshells from fungus: Some lizard moms seed their eggs with microbes as they pass through … Continue reading #16 Happy Mother’s Day!!
Several poop loving people have recently alerted me to this news article, suggesting that the elusive Fountain of Youth may flow brown. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany reported the life extending properties of youthful poop. The pond dwelling Turquoise Kilifish (Nothobranchius furzeri) has but a brief time here on earth, dying after a … Continue reading #15 The fountain of poop, I mean, youth…
Happy Friday Brain-Gut lovers!! Next week marks the start of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month. April is a time where we can reflect on gastrointestinal symptoms, raise awareness for this common functional gastrointestinal disorder, and provide support for friends and family who suffer. IBS actually affects 15% of American's, which means that you very … Continue reading #14 IBS Awareness Month
Happy St. Patrick's Day! In celebration of all things Irish, today we dedicate our Friday Fun Fact to the humble potato. Not only is the potato an excellent vehicle for salt and butter, this little gem can also be a friendly microbiome helper. Win win! It turns out that cooked (and cooled) potatoes are high in … Continue reading #13 Happy Paddy’s Day!!!
Some bacteria have a very cool trick - they can form spores. Spores are made of super tough material (like keratin) and form around the bacterium encapsulating it in a kind of time machine. This spore is resistant to extreme temperatures (such as boiling water), chemical changes in the environment (e.g., radiation) and a lack … Continue reading #12 Friday Fun Fact – Time Machines
Hi there Brain-Gut Lovers, and welcome to another installment of the 'I Love Poop' series. Today we get an insight into the world of poop research through a dear friend and research sister Jessica Flannery of the University of Oregon. Take it away Jess! Tell us a little about yourself. Hi there! I am a … Continue reading I Study Poop – Adventures from Scientists on the Front Line
While we previously thought that the placenta was a microbe free zone, it is now clear that it is in fact home to a unique community of bacteria that most closely resemble those in the mothers mouth. This finding is interesting in light of the association between maternal oral health and preterm births, and suggests … Continue reading #11 Friday Fun Fact – The Placental Microbiome
When your bowel behaves as though there is an obstruction, but upon medical inspection, none exists. Can include bloating, severe pain, and constipation. Much like the brain in the head sometimes gets confused about the presence of a limb following amputation (phantom limb pain), so too can the brain in the gut get confused about … Continue reading #10 Friday Fun Fact – The Ghost Poop