Microbes at the Gas Pump
Middle school science adventures
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Tree Frogs
A Butterfly's New Green Glow
Hot Pepper, Hot Spider
Big Squid
Baby Talk
A Recipe for Happiness
Pondering the puzzling platypus
Chemistry and Materials
Cold, colder and coldest ice
Heaviest named element is official
Undercover Detectives
The Earth-bound asteroid scientists saw coming
Electronic Paper Turns a Page
Supersonic Splash
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Early Birds Ready to Rumble
Hall of Dinos
Fossil Forests
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Distant Quake Changes Geyser Eruptions
Shrinking Glaciers
Drilling Deep for Fuel
Spotty Survival
To Catch a Dragonfly
A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
Finding the Past
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
The Puzzle of Ancient Mariners
An Ancient Childhood
Whale Sharks
Angler Fish
Food and Nutrition
Symbols from the Stone Age
Yummy bugs
The Color of Health
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Capitalization Rules
Who vs. Whom
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
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Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Scholarship
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Mathematics
Math of the World
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
Monkeys Count
Human Body
Nature's Medicines
Tapeworms and Drug Delivery
The tell-tale bacteria
African Wildedbeest
Grizzly Bear
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
How children learn
Road Bumps
Powering Ball Lightning
Electric Backpack
A Giant Flower's New Family
A Change in Leaf Color
Bright Blooms That Glow
Snapping Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Ringing Saturn
A Dead Star's Dusty Ring
Saturn's New Moons
Technology and Engineering
Machine Copy
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
A Light Delay
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
What is a Noun
Problems with Prepositions
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Where rivers run uphill
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
The solar system's biggest junkyard
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Gut Germs to the Rescue

In many situations, bacteria are bad guys. As soon as your defenses are down, the tiny microbes infect your body and make you sick. Germs can also be good for you, researchers are discovering. Between 500 and 1,000 different kinds of microbes live in a person's intestines. There are, in fact, more bacteria in your gut than cells in your entire body. Many of them may help keep us healthy. Take Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, for example. The tiny bacterium lives in our intestines and feeds off the food we eat. In exchange, B. thetaiotaomicron helps break down indigestible nuggets of food into sugars and produce vitamins that we can use. The wonders of gut microbes don't stop there. B. thetaiotaomicron also seems to regulate specific genes in the gut and helps the intestines work better by sparking the growth of blood vessels. This "good" bacterium even stimulates the production of a chemical that kills other kinds of "bad," disease-causing bacteria. To study how bacteria cause disease, scientists have created mice that have no germs at all. These animals end up needing to eat much more than do normal rodents, and they are much more likely to get sick. By introducing just B. thetaiotaomicron into germfree mice, researchers can find out what changes these particular bacteria cause. These changes include altering which sugars the intestine makes and keeping gut bacteria from sneaking into other parts of the body. As more details emerge about how important gut bacteria are to our health, you might want to add a Bacteria Appreciation Day to your date-book!E. Sohn

Gut Germs to the Rescue
Gut Germs to the Rescue

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