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Microbiology

CRISPR gene editing: Moving closer to home

With the first medical therapy approved and systems like CRISPR-Cas showing up in complex cells, there’s a lot going on in the genome editing field. Here’s our primer.

How gut bacteria connect to Parkinson’s disease

Growing evidence suggests a link between the debilitating neurological illness and the microbes that live in our intestines. The vagus nerve may be a pathway.

The growing link between microbes, mood and mental health

New research suggests that to maintain a healthy brain, we should tend our gut microbiome. The best way to do that right now is not through pills and supplements, but better food.

The remaining frontiers in fighting hepatitis C

A scientist whose work was key to identifying, studying and finding treatments for this life-threatening virus discusses the scientific journey and challenges that persist

Where the heck did all those structures inside complex cells come from?

Scientists agree that eons ago, a bacterium took up residence inside another cell and became its powerhouse, the mitochondrion. But there are competing theories about the birth of other organelles such as the nucleus and endoplasmic reticulum.

The living things that feast on plastic

Scientists are scouring garbage sites around the world for bacteria, fungi and even insects that harbor enzymes that could be harnessed for breaking down various polymers. It’s early days, but if the efforts can be efficiently scaled-up, such biological recycling could put a dent in the plastic waste problem.

The fight against an invasive fish in California’s Clear Lake

VIDEO: Can removing carp help the lake’s native fish and keep toxic algal blooms in check?  

Reviving a famously polluted California lake

Clear Lake, the state’s largest freshwater body of water, is fouled each year by algal blooms, one of many assaults endured by the battered ecosystem. Can a multipronged plan help it recover?

Can probiotics protect corals from problems like bleaching?

Lab experiments suggest that a dose of carefully selected microbes may boost the health of these reef-building creatures and their symbiotic algae

Blessed are the (tiny) cheesemakers

Cheese is not just a tasty snack — it’s an ecosystem. And the fungi and bacteria within that ecosystem play a big part in shaping the flavor and texture of the final product.

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