microbiome

Cirrhosis, the final stage of liver disease, is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. Unhealthy bacteria in the mouth and gut appear to play a role.
We have been reading a bunch of nonsense about artificial sweeteners causing elevated blood glucose for years. A study out of Britain puts this to rest – and does so in no uncertain terms. 
Most motorists, as they glide their cars carefully around the bloody remains, find highway carcasses repulsive. But a team of microbiologists and chemists from the University of Oklahoma hope that roadkill will prove to be a biomedical gold mine.
For the last decade or two, people have been looking for something to attribute to the increase in the number of people with allergies and autoimmune diseases. A lot of ideas have been floated around - cell phones, vaccines, hand sanitizers or anything else that we use more now than we did 20 years ago.  On that list is also the increase of births done by Cesarean section. The hypothesis is that babies born by Cesarean have a different microbiome (or set of bacteria) on them than those born vaginally. And, that those bacteria that are first to establish themselves in the newborn impact the health of the baby for the rest of their life.  
It has become an accepted paradigm that how babies come into this world (vaginal delivery versus Cesarean section) dictates which bacteria colonize their bodies - establishing their microbiota that will affect their health throughout their lives. But, a recent publication calls that well-established idea into question - raising a lot of questions along the way. 
When I was still in school, the rule-of-thumb for the human microbiome was that bacteria outnumbered human cells 10-to-1. Not so, say the authors of a new PLoS Biology paper, who re-crunched the numbers. According to their estimate, the ratio is much closer to 1-to-1.
Researchers have developed a coaster-size model of the human gut, which provides valuable insight into the molecular processes taking place between the intestinal microbiome and the host.
In microbiome research, it's still too early to determine what is correlation and what is causation. However, some researchers are finding ways to use correlation effectively. One way is to improve screening for colorectal cancer, and a new study finds this may help in treatment, too.
The hygiene hypothesis has some new data. Researchers believe they have evidence that a lack of four bacteria genera early in life leads to a high risk of asthma. However, the study is small and the data is anything but conclusive.
A new study finds that our microbiome may extend beyond our gut and skin -- to the air immediately around us. The researchers, working at the University of Oregon, say that the constituents of these microbiome clouds may even be unique to the individual.
Does showering hurt your health? A Cambridge, MA company believes that taking a shower harms your microbiome, so it's developed a new probiotic spray to use in lieu of regular washing. One executive embraces this idea so strongly that he hasn't showered in over a decade.
The details of science how to interpret empirical data are more of a debate than lay people may know and scientists may care to admit, and it is not as cut and dry as the media sometimes present it.