Gut bacteria in Japanese people borrowed sushi-digesting genes from ocean bacteria | Discover Magazine

“Nori is, by far, the most likely source of bacteria with porphyran-digesting genes. It’s the only food that humans eat that contains any porphyrans and until recently, Japanese chefs didn’t cook nori before eating it. Any bacteria that lingered on the green fronds weren’t killed before they could mingle with gut bacteria like B.plebius. Ruth […]

Divided by language, united by gut bacteria – people have three common gut types | Discover Magazine

“Enterotypes aren’t quite as well-defined as, say, blood groups, but they could have similar uses as medical markers. The microbiome helps us to digest our food and it affects our susceptibility to diseases; the enterotypes could reflect these roles. Each enterotype was dominated by a specific genus of bacteria, and varied in the proportions of […]

Language May Have Helped Early Humans Spread Out of Africa – ScienceNOW

“The story of humanity’s prehistoric expansion across the planet is recorded in our genes. And, apparently, the story of the spread of language is hidden in the sounds of our words. That’s the finding of a new study, which concludes that both people and languages spread out from an African homeland by a similar process—and […]

ScienceShot: Green Eggs and Salamanders – ScienceNOW

“This is the first case of an algae living symbiotically within a vertebrate, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. How the photosynthesizing algae gets there, and how it survives inside the tissues and cells of this predominantly nocturnal amphibian is still baffling to scientists.” This is one cool […]

Book: The Windup Girl, by Paolo Bacigalupi

This is one great book. It’s set a few hundred years in the future, long after the oil-fueled “Exapansion” (that would be the time we are living the end of, right up to “Peak oil”), and after the “Contraction” (the collapse of society as cheap energy runs out). The world of the Windup Girl is […]

Report: Current European Biofuel Policies ‘Unethical’ – ScienceInsider

“An E.U.-sponsored certification scheme should adhere to the following principles: * Biofuels development should not be at the expense of human rights * Biofuels should be environmentally sustainable * Biofuels should contribute to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions * Biofuels should adhere to fair-trade principles * Costs and benefits of biofuels should be distributed […]

Antarctic microbes live life to the extreme : Nature News

“You might not expect bacteria living in Antarctic ice to be well suited to life in a boiling kettle, but that is what Chilean scientists discovered during an expedition last year. The researchers have turned up more than 200 new species of microorganisms adapted to living in extreme environments.” This is a really cool report […]

ScienceShot: Toads Keep Their Brains Germ-Free – ScienceNOW

“By performing genetic analyses and mass spectrometry on ground-up toad brains, the researchers found 79 different antimicrobial peptides—the widest variety ever seen in the brain of any animal.” As antibiotics start to lose their efficacy, new sources and mechanisms of antimicrobials will have to be found, such as bacteriocins and these peptides from frogs. Bookmarked […]

Presentation: Product Stewardship – Lynne Pledger

In one panel, I got upset that all recycling talk was about the consumer and the waste management companies. I asked what about producer responsibility. To my surprise, I found out that there is very little Extended Producer Responsibility in the US. Having lived in Europe and worked at Nokia, I thought it was normal […]

Presentation: Product Stewardship Session – Kate Hagemann

More on Extended Product Responsibility in the US. Bookmarked in Delicious. Read this article…