Gut microbes in healthy kids carry antibiotic resistance genes

Friendly microbes in the intestinal tracts of healthy American children have numerous antibiotic resistance genes, according to results of a pilot study by scientists at the School of Medicine. The genes are cause for concern because they can be shared with harmful microbes, interfering with the effectiveness of antibiotics in ways that can contribute to serious illness and, in some cases, death. Pictured is the study’s senior author, Gautum Dantas, PhD.

Altering mix of gut microbes prevents obesity, but diet remains key factor

The mix of microbes living inside the gut can protect against obesity, but a healthy diet is critical, according to School of Medicine scientists who transplanted intestinal microbes from obese and lean twins into mice and fed the animals different diets. Pictured are researchers Vanessa Ridaura, a graduate student, and Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, director of the Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology.

Gut microbes’ partnership helps body extract energy from food, store it as fat

Researchers have found that two common organisms collude and collaborate to increase the amount of calories harvested from a class of carbohydrates found in food sweeteners. In the study, conducted in previously germ-free mice, colonization with two prominent human gut microbes led to fatter mice. Scientists at the School of Medicine called the results an illustration of how understanding the menagerie of microorganisms that live in our guts can provide new insights into health.

Gut microbes can increase body fat

School of Medicine researchers found that gut microbes promote fat storage by suppressing the production of a certain protein. More medical articles

Gut microbes can open gates in fat cells

The microorganisms that normally live in the gut can increase body fat, say researchers at the School of Medicine. They found that gut microbes can open the “gates” fat uses to enter the body’s fat cells.

Junk food binge alters community of microbes in the gut in less than a day

Switching from a low-fat, plant-based diet to one high in fat and sugar alters the collection of microbes living in the gut in less than a day, with obesity-linked microbes suddenly thriving, according to new research at the School of Medicine. The study was based on transplants of human intestinal microbes into germ-free mice.