Hacking yogurt

As a card carrying practical microbiologist, I like making yogurt – cheap and easy to make and very good for your tummy (see here for more on yogurt and a recipe you can use). But I admit I’m not too adventurous: the most I do is try different cultures, flavors, or milks (latest was goat […]

Ecosphere Associates, Inc.: Closed Ecosystem, Self Contained Aquarium

“The Original EcoSphere® is the world’s first totally enclosed ecosystem – a complete, self-contained and self-sustaining miniature world encased in glass. Be wary of inferior and lower quality imitations. Easy to care for, an EcoSphere is an incredible learning tool that can provide powerful insights about life on our own planet… and provide a glimpse […]

UM Carey Law | Federal Regulation of Probiotics

An Analysis of the Existing Regulatory Framework and Recommendations for Alternative Frameworks A team of researchers at the University of Maryland Baltimore is studying federal regulation of probiotics under a grant from NIH’s Human Microbiome Project (HMP). A portion of HMP funds were set aside to study the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (often referred […]

Incorporating microorganisms into polymer layers provides bioinspired functional living materials

“Artificial two-dimensional biological habitats were prepared from porous polymer layers and inoculated with the fungus Penicillium roqueforti to provide a living material. Such composites of classical industrial ingredients and living microorganisms can provide a novel form of functional or smart materials with capability for evolutionary adaptation. We demonstrated a design of such living materials and […]

PLoS Biology: How Bacteria Turn Fiber into Food

“Now, a new study by Eric Martens, David Bolam, and colleagues has looked into how a pair of the most common species of gut bacteria metabolize polysaccharides, showing that each bacterium is highly specialized. Using a high-throughput system for feeding the bacteria dozens of kinds of carbohydrates, one at a time, and tracking the bacteria’s […]

Friendly bacteria move in mysterious ways : Nature News

“Many yoghurts are loaded with live bacteria, and labelled with claims that consuming these microorganisms can be good for your health. But a study published today shows that such yoghurts have only subtle effects on the bacteria already in the gut and do not replace them.” Yes, but the paper goes to point out that […]