What We’re Reading

Happy Tuesday, and welcome to our regular roundup of microbiome readings. Enjoy!



– We start with some good fun for the day: help cure cancer while playing a citizen science game! Reverse the Odds.

An incredible study just came out in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Nine teenagers with Crohn’s Disease were given fecal microbial transplants from people without Crohn’s Disease, and 7 of the 9 kids went into remission, with 5 kids still in remission 12 weeks after the treatment! The important implication here is that the microbiome could have potentially therapeutic effects.

Should the government tell you what to eat? Or should masses of people start doing their own experiments on what kinds of diets are best for human bodies of different varieties? This New York Times article sounds like a call for more research on how food affects us (and our microbiomes.)

– Amazingly, some of your inherited traits may have come from bacterial DNA passed down from your mother. It turns out human DNA may not be the only thing we pass on to our kids. These inherited bacteria can influence traits such as your weight and behavior. Scientists had previously assumed that we acquired bacteria from our environment as we developed through childhood, but this new evidence suggests a genetic component to microbial acquisition as well.

Allergic kids in Australia have been successfully treated by gradually increased exposure to peanuts while taking a good dose of probiotics. A few of the kids had adverse reactions, but many more found their allergy massively decreased or even eliminated. Thanks to Phil DiNuzzo here at uBiome for passing this along.

If you’ve read something magnificent and would like to see it here next week, please let me know.

We wish you and your microbiome a wonderful week!