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Tiny Worlds

From the social network in the soil to the ecosystem in your body, it’s amazing what’s hidden just out of sight

Your saliva affects the way you spread pathogens

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Our saliva can vary depending on our physiological state, making us more or less likely to pass on bugs to others

Marnie Willman, University of Manitoba Bannatyne

Buyer, beware — cyanobacteria toxins in supplements are a serious health risk

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Dietary supplements made with blue-green algae also contain their toxins

Derek Smith, University of Michigan

Changing your microbiome could be as easy as taking a walk in the park

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Sophia Friesen, University of California, Berkeley

Comment 2 peer comments

Marine archaea make oxygen in the dark using nitrite

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Elise Cutts, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

An array of bacteria and fungi help leafcutter ants break down toxic leaves

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The ants and the microbes work as a team to digest rainforest vegetation

Sophia Friesen, University of California, Berkeley

Sugar may trigger inflammatory bowel disease by breaking down gut mucus

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Mice fed sugar-heavy diets have worse colitis and more mucous-degrading gut bacteria

Madeline Barron, University of Michigan

Comment 3 peer comments

Tardigrades glow bright to survive blasts of UV radiation

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Sree Rama Chaitanya, The Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics

A smart ‘second skin’ shape-shifts to block out chemical weapons

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The smart fabric made of carbon nanotubes is light, breathable, and can change how first-responders deal with sarin

Max G. Levy, Science and Health Journalism

Two mini microscopes watched a mouse’s brain move its body in real time

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Sruthi Sanjeev Balakrishnan, National Centre for Biological Sciences

Comment 6 peer comments

The sugar in semen makes HIV drugs less effective

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Marnie Willman, University of Manitoba Bannatyne

Comment 3 peer comments

To stop pancreatic cancer from spreading, cut out the chatter

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Max G. Levy, Science and Health Journalism

Comment 1 peer comment

Gamers are one-upping nature and computers by designing whole new proteins

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Building elaborate structures from scratch is difficult for computers, but in the hands of a gamer...

Luyi Cheng, Northwestern University

Comment 3 peer comments

Pregnant women must get their flu shots to help avoid future influenza epidemics

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Marnie Willman, University of Manitoba Bannatyne

Comment 2 peer comments