In the Origin of Species, Darwin described a “great Tree of Life” which is “fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever branching and beautiful ramifications.”
Ever since then biologist have been trying to describe such a tree. And it should surprise no one that the recent focus on microbial ecology has expanded the Tree considerably.
Read about it at the New York Times or in the paper over at Nature Microbiology .
Hug et al. 2016
Darwin’s tree, in concept and in the only figure published in his Origin of Species.
One of the greatest tag lines for studying microbes is “You have more microbes in your body than you have cells!”
However… it turns out that might not strictly be true. Which is a shame, because it was a great tag line…
Read about it over at the Atlantic!
Or read the review paper here.
When people say they have gut feelings, they usually mean that they are going on instinct.
However, it turns out that your instinct, or behavior, could actually be coming from your gut. Microbes that is.
Over at Scientific American, an excellent article summarizes a study by Rebecca Knickmeyer on just that.
She followed a group of developing infants to determine if their guts really are altering their behavior.
Check it out!
(almost as cool as Microbes on Mars)
In 6 months, my friend Wesley Loftie-Eaton will cycle from Nairobi (Kenya) to Cape Town (South Africa). This epic trip is not only for the sake of adventure, but to raise awareness on antibiotic resistance and promote research in Africa. The first three blogs are already up and they are titled “Why cycling?“, “Why Antibiotic Action?” and “Why science in Africa?”.
A successful mission depends on promotion, so like, share, donate, subscribe, etc., to help Wesley in this important campaign.
His blog is here, go check it out!
A new study released in the journal Microbiome (it’s open-access!) has concluded that “intimate kissing” that lasts at least 10 seconds can transfer 80,000,000 bacteria between the participants’ mouths. So many microbes sloshing around – it’s a little bit gross, a little bit cool, and 100% science.
NPR wrote a short piece about it here.