New Studies Reveal Intimate Links Between Human Microbiome And Preterm Pregnancies, IBD, And More

The newest results from the Human Microbiome Project have revealed just how connected the microbes in our gut are to our overall health. Read More >>

Your Kitchen Sponge Contains More Bacteria Than Any Other Object in Your House

By this point, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that the world is full of bacteria. But the numbers can still be baffling. Take your body: it probably has 37 trillion cells or so, and maybe the same number of bacterial cells. Read More >>

Certain Penis-Dwelling Bacteria Might Increase Your HIV Risk

HIV transmission is a complex process with factors beyond just who you sleep with and how. The virus ultimately needs to find its way to the correct kinds of cells in order to wreak havoc. And some of the risk, at least for those with penises, may come from the kinds of bacteria on the tip. Read More >>

Your Eyeballs May Be Covered in Disease-Fighting Bacteria

If the eyes are windows to the soul, they’re open windows, potentially letting in all kinds of unwelcome bugs. To ensure that doesn’t happen, our tears are loaded with microbe-killing compounds and immune cells. In fact, our eyes are so inhospitable that it was long thought they were the only part of our bodies which lacked a symbiotic bacterial community. But now, scientists have found evidence of a once-inconceivable ocular microbiome—and it may help eyes fight off disease. Read More >>

Are You Your Microbiome? Ed Yong Explains It All

Writer Ed Yong has been chronicling the science of microbial life for years at such outlets as The New York Times, the Atlantic (where he is now a staff writer), and his blog, Not Exactly Rocket Science (currently hosted by National Geographic). Now he has published his first book, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, in which he explains how bacteria can tune our immune system, change our response to cancer-fighting drugs, and modify our genetic makeup. Gizmodo caught up with Yong to find out more. Read More >>

Your Navel Lint Makes a Beautiful Portrait as Unique as Your Fingerprint

Your belly button is teeming with microbial life—a mix of many different species unique to you. Brooklyn-based artist Joana Ricou creates “portraits” based on individual microbiomes. The result is some surprisingly lovely imagery. Read More >>

Deepak Chopra Thinks Stomach Bacteria Listens to Your Thoughts

Questionable-tweet publisher Deepak Chopra is at it again, this time spouting his patented food nonsense at the “Fat Summit” online conference. While speaking to celebrity doctor and alternative medicine enthusiast Mark Hyman, Chopra explained that the vast collection of microbes in our gut are actually capable of listening to our thoughts. Read More >>

Your Gut May Be Home to an Entirely New Form of Life

A new genetic analysis of human gut bacteria is turning up some really weird critters—so weird, in fact, that some biologists are speculating we’ve found an entirely new domain of life. We should take that possibility with a healthy dose of skepticism. But here’s why it’s even being discussed. Read More >>

A Remote Amazonian Tribe Harbors Unprecedented Microbiome Diversity

The trillions of bacteria that live on us and in us — our microbiomes — are vital to our health in ways we’re just beginning to understand. Now scientists have discovered the most diverse collection of bodily bacteria ever, in a remote Amazonian tribe of southern Venezuela. Read More >>

Genetically Engineered Bacteria Can Keep Mice From Getting Fat 

Scientists now know that gut microbes almost certainly play a role in us getting fat, and poop transplants are sometimes touted as a potential route to weight loss. But if that’s a little too icky for you, Vanderbilt scientists have been experimenting with more refined microbiome tinkering in mice using genetically modified E. coli. Read More >>

Half the DNA on the New York City Subway Matches No Known Organism 

The results of a massive new DNA sequencing project on the New York City subway have just been published. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, there's a lot of bacteria down there — though most of it is known to be harmless. What's really important, though, is what we don't know about it. Read More >>

A Powder Made From Bacteria Waste Could Curb Overeating 

The bacteria living in our guts play in an active role is feeding us, whether it's breaking down nutrients our own stomachs can't handle, or synthesising vitamins. Here's one more intriguing piece of the puzzle: a molecule excreted by the bacteria digesting fibre makes us feel more full. Read More >>