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All the Gut Bugs

At Wee Beasties, blogger Kevin Bonham notes the increasing evidence that microbes, particularly gut microbes, play a large role in health and disease. Previously, studying these organisms was difficult, as many of them cannot easily be grown outside the body, but with sequencing tools getting at these microbes has become a bit easier. Bonham references a commentary in Nature Immunology from two Australian researchers who argue that "changes in diet and associated changes in the gut microbiota are driving the increasing incidence of inflammatory disease in developed countries." And that opens up new possibilities for therapeutics and probiotics. "This field is in its infancy, and there are many variables that could confound any findings," Bonham adds. "Besides that, there are many technical hurdles that prevent direct manipulation and controlled experimentation."

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.