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 […]

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Session: The Earth Microbiome Project: Modeling the Microbial Planet (2012 AAAS Annual Meeting (16-20 February 2012))

“The Earth Microbiome Project (EMP) is the most ambitious attempt to provide a systematic characterization of the microbial world that dominates this planet. The ecosystem services provided by microbes in every environment (including the human body) are fundamental to the survival of life on this planet and the continued economic and physical health of the […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Recruitment in the sea: bacterial genes required for inducing larval settlement in a polychaete worm : Nature

“This study has identified the first bacterial genes required for induction of settlement and metamorphosis of a marine invertebrate animal.” This is an interesting genetic study as to what in the bacteria cause the induction of settlement and metamorphosis. Hooray for Nature for making this paper open so that I could read it. Though the […]

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