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Media about microbes in us, our homes and our gardens is becoming ever more plentiful. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about how these incredible organisms support our daily life and how we can best live in balance with them for our health and the health of the planet.

To Make a Building Healthier, Stop Sanitizing Everything

In the Western world, humans spend 90% of their time indoors. The average American spends even more than that—93%—inside buildings or cars. For years scientists have sounded the alarm that our disconnect from the outdoors is linked to a host of chronic health problems, including allergies, asthma, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and obesity. More recently, experts in various fields have begun studying why buildings, even those designed to be as germ-free as possible, are vectors for disease, not the least Covid-19.

One of London’s top doctors on why gut health is so important right now

Tatler, Dr Tim Lebens

In troubled times like these, it is important that we support our gut, to provide us with a robust immune system and some mental resilience.

It is incredibly important to nurture our gut flora early on in life, but equally throughout adult life. The recent germophobic mentality, paradoxically, may be harming us in other ways. Read more.

Good gut bacteria helps human immune system protect brain from infections, says study

Firstpost, Myupchar

It is a well-known fact that the gut and the brain are closely connected with each other. Anything that happens in the brain (stress and anxiety for example) has a tendency to affect the gut and the gut sends signals to the brain when it is distressed.

Now, a group of researchers at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Cambridge University say that it is the gut microbes that train your immune system to protect your brain from infections. Read more.

Multiple sclerosis: some patients may already hold the key to protecting the brain against viruses

The Conversation, Loran Hayden and Marieke Pingen

A lot of research has gone into determining why the immune cells of MS patients attack the brain. Researchers are especially interested in understanding why MS patients make so many antibodies, which are important for protecting the body from viral infections. Large quantities of antibodies are found in their cerebrospinal fluid (the liquid barrier that surrounds the brain).

In researching this phenomenon, we have actually identified that some of these antibodies can be beneficial as they enhance immunity against viruses. This stronger immune response could help protect these people from certain viral infections. Read more.

New evidence links gut bacteria alterations to autism

New Atlass, Rich Haridy

A new study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, is shedding light on the potential link between autism and gut microbiome impairments. The research reveals a mechanism by which altered gut bacteria populations can lead to abnormal microbial detoxification and mitochondrial dysfunction. Read more.

Gut Bacteria’s Role in Anxiety and Depression: It’s Not Just In Your Head

Smithsonion, Max G. Levy

Mounting evidence suggests that intestinal microbes profoundly shape our thinking and behaviour. Human trials are now underway to investigate how these microbes boost our overall well-being. If the results hold up, new bacteria-based therapies could expand a mental health treatment landscape that has been mostly stagnant for decades. Read more.

Scientists Discover Exposed Bacteria Can Survive in Space for Years

Smithsonion, Max G. Levy

Framed by an infinite backdrop of dark, lifeless space, a robotic arm on the International Space Station in 2015 mounted a box of exposed microbes on a handrail 250 miles above Earth. The hearty bacteria had no protection from an onslaught of cosmic ultraviolet, gamma, and x-rays. Back on Earth, scientists wondered whether the germs might survive these conditions for up to three years, the length of the experiment, and if they did, what the results might tell the researchers about the ability of life to travel between planets. Read more.

Climate warming is altering animals’ gut microbes

The Conversation, Sasha Greenspan

It seems like each day scientists report more dire consequences of climate change on animals and plants worldwide. Birds that are migrating later in the year can’t find enough food. Plants are flowering before their insect pollinators hatch. Prey species have less stamina to escape predators. In short, climatic shifts that affect one organism are likely to trigger ripple effects that can disturb the structure and functioning of entire ecosystems.

Read more.

The microbiome: How gut bacteria regulate our health

NewScientist, Reginald Davey

Our bodies contain almost as many microbial cells as human cells. This community of organisms is called the microbiome, and we are increasingly learning what a huge role they play in all aspects of our health.

Research has shown that having a diverse microbiome – particularly your gut bacteria – has benefits not only for your digestive health, but many other organ systems, and even your brain. That has led to the idea that treatments targeting the microbiome may be able to improve our mental health. Read more.

The Use of Microbes in Food

News Medical, Reginald Davey

Humans have long been innovative species. As we have observed natural processes and phenomena, our curiosity has been a driving force behind our progress. We have experimented with natural ingredients to create a multitude of food that we consume today. This article will discuss the history and current trends of microbial use in the food industry. Read more.

We’re using microbes to clean up toxic electronic waste

The Conversation, Sebastien Farnaud

Bioleaching has existed as a solution to these problems as far back as the era of the Roman Empire. The modern mining industry has relied on it for decades, using microbes – mainly bacteria, but also some fungi – to extract metals from ores.

Microorganisms chemically modify the metal, setting it free from the surrounding rock and allowing it to dissolve in a microbial soup, from which the metal can be isolated and purified. Read more.

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