Let's experiment: exploring my microbiota

Let's experiment: exploring my microbiota

Bacterial cells outnumber your own humans cells ten to one. Thanks to advances in sequencing technology reducing costs, you can finally get to know these silent co-inhabitants. In the first installment of the let's experiment series, Kenny lays out his experiment to get to know his microbiota and examine how his inhabitants respond to a drastic change in diet and probiotic use.

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Fungi: A Tree's Best Friend

Fungi: A Tree's Best Friend

Fungi are all around you - those mushrooms you got at the grocery store yesterday, the mold on that tomato you forgot in the fridge, and the yeast that gives wine its mellow mood, but were you aware they can also help plants grow? In fact, without this weird group of fungi, we wouldn't have a lot of the plants we currently depend on!

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Does Size Matter? Evolution Says Yes

Does Size Matter? Evolution Says Yes

Does size matter? Evolution says yes.

Despite the importance, observing evolution is difficult. Working with microbes makes it easier but people cannot easily relate to microbes. However, we can all relate to sex. In the spirit of Father’s day, let’s talk about the evolution of male genitalia and how we can thank society for shaping the male member into what it is today.

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From Organ Owner to Organ Donor

From Organ Owner to Organ Donor

When you go to register for your license for the first time, a simple 'yes or no' checkbox summarizes a complex question: do you want to be an organ donor? My experiences working in my father's funeral home exposed me to a unique perspective on death, and the process of organ donation and transplantation. Here, I outline the entire process from start to finish so you can educate yourself, and do what is best for you and your organs.

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The view from the bottom of a microbial pig-pile

The view from the bottom of a microbial pig-pile

What is life like in a microbial pig-pile? In a word, crowded. In fact, life in nature is typically crowded and this fact is something scientists and biologists wrestle with all the time even in medical science. For example, if microbes that cause disease or live in and on our bodies predominantly live in crowded communities called biofilms, are these microbes primarily adapting to us or each other? Perhaps we can learn something new with a unique perspective.

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Molecule of the Month: Something Salty.

Molecule of the Month: Something Salty.

Some of you may have heard of our Mutualism of the Month theme. Congratulations on coming across our first post for Molecule of the Month!    

What is a molecule, you ask?  It can be defined simply as a neutral group resulting from two (or more) atoms binding.

This month, I'll be discussing a molecule we know all too well...perhaps?  Na-Cl (sodium chloride), also known as salt.  Why do we need salt?  How is it formed?  Where does it come from?  All this, and more!

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Poopsicles: bad doggy behavior or innovative treatment strategy?

Poopsicles: bad doggy behavior or innovative treatment strategy?

Would you eat human feces for a hundred dollars? How about if it could treat your chronic diarrhea?

Much to our dismay, our dogs sometimes eat poop but is this always a bad thing? Here, I discuss the possibility that this practice could be an innovative treatment similar to a fecal transplant used to treat chronic diarrhea in humans rather than just a gross habit.

Crazy or possible? You be the judge.

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Water's the matter?

Water's the matter?

Water plays a (very obvious) role in our everyday lives, but how often do we consider its source?  This post is a quick and informative overview in deciphering where your water is coming from, where it's going, and how much of it we can continue to "drink up" at the rate we're currently at - with a little Biochemistry mixed in too, of course!

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Dog mouth microbiome: Is a dog's mouth cleaner than a human's?

Dog mouth microbiome: Is a dog's mouth cleaner than a human's?

Would you share your ice cream cone with your favorite furry friend? Do you know where that mouth has been? Many pet-owners believe that their dog's mouth is cleaner than their own. Using my knowledge of microbiology and human microbiome research, I break down the reasons why people believe this myth and determine if we should be sharing our ice creams with our pet's. 

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