Microbes and Aging

The human digestive tract, primarily the colon, typically contains between 300 to 1000 different bacterial species, collectively known as our gut microbiome. Studies from the last 20 years have repeatedly shown important connections between the composition of our gut microbiome (i.e. the number of different species and the relative quantities of each species) and various …

The Gut-Brain Connection

Our gastrointestinal system is teeming with diverse bacteria that collectively comprise our gut microbiome. These bacteria contribute to our digestive capability as well as more broadly influencing our overall health and wellbeing. As the bacteria in our gut digest our food they produce and excrete their own biomolecules that we call metabolites. Bacterial metabolites can …

On a Hot Summer Night ….

It’s August, and if you live in Texas like I do it’s the season to sweat. Unfortunately, along with sweat comes odor, particularly in the armpit (the axilla region). Certain hairy regions of the body, such as the armpit and groin, contain apocrine glands whose physiological function in humans remains poorly understood. The apocrine glands …

The Microbiome – Your Nearest and Dearest Neighbors

A microbiome can be defined as all the microorganisms, e.g. bacteria and viruses, which occupy a specific niche or ecological location. For humans, our microbiome is the sum total of all the microorganisms that inhabit our bodies. The vast majority of work on the human microbiome has focused on the bacteria that co-inhabit our bodies. …

Antibiotics vs. Antivirals

You may know that we don’t use antibiotics on viral infections, but do you know why? The word antibiotic comes from the Greek language and literally means “against life”. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, since bacteria are living, single-cell organisms. Each bacterial cell is comprised of an envelope structure that forms the outer …