Scientists Find Link Between Gut Bacteria and How the Brain Works
A week from today, researchers will gather for a neuroscience conference in Washington D.C. titled "Gut Microbes and the Brain: Paradigm Shift in Neuroscience."
A week from today, researchers will gather for a neuroscience conference in Washington D.C. titled "Gut Microbes and the Brain: Paradigm Shift in Neuroscience." As the name suggests, new evidence will presented by the scientific community to help establish an emerging link between the health of your gut and the health of your brain.
One team of researchers from University College Cork in Ireland will argue that the microbiome--the name for the billions of bacteria swimming in your large intestine--has the greatest effect on the brain in infancy. In experiments, the researchers found that mice born through their mother's vagina, as opposed to by cesarian section, exhibited less depression and less anxiety. They believe this is because vaginal birth is the first exposure an infant has to bacteria.
Another study conducted in 2013 found that mice with lower levels of the gut bacterium called Bacteroides fragilis showed a tendency toward autism. They were also more stressed, antisocial and had gastrointestinal symptoms associated with autism. When scientists fed B. fragilis to the mice, their symptoms disappeared.
"That observation raises the possibility that some people with autism could be supported with therapies, such as probiotics, that target the gut instead of the brain, which is a much more complex and inaccessible organ."
In her Big Think interview, popular science writer Mary Roach describes a day in the life of your gut bacteria:
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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