Scientists grow personalized collections of intestinal microbes

School of Medicine scientists have shown they can grow personalized collections of human intestinal microbes in the laboratory and pluck out particular microbes of interest. The research sets the stage for identifying new probiotics and evaluating whether microbe transplants can restore the natural balance of intestinal bacteria in “sick” microbial communities. 

Researchers find ways heat-loving microbes release energy

Jan Amend sampling shallow marine vent fluids in 2005 at Ambitle Island, Papua, New Guinea.Curiosity about the microbial world drove Jan Amend, Ph.D., associate professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, to Vulcano Island, Italy, a shallow hydrothermal Shangri-la near Sicily. There, Amend and his collaborators managed to examine the environment in depth, design a gene probe, and discover new life-which could have some big implications for the origin and presence of life on Earth. More…