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Microbial Loss, and Bloom

New York University's Martin Blaser, among others, is concerned about antibiotics' effects on the human microbiome, reports The New York Times. Blaser notes that when mice are given antibiotics, mimicking what is given to children to treat ear and throat infections — which is also enough to kill the gut bacterium H. pylori — they have an increase in body fat. While Barry Marshall from the University of Western Australia points out that people reacquire the flora they've lost, he says that antibiotics are overused. The Times adds that the US National Institutes of Health is funding the Human Microbiome Project to study the diversity of microorganisms living in and on the human body. "We need to get an understanding of how our microbial communities operate and what to feed them so they will bloom again," adds David Relman from Stanford University.

The Scan

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.

Circulating Tumor DNA Shows Potential as Biomarker in Rare Childhood Cancer

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that circulating tumor DNA levels in rhabdomyosarcoma may serve as a biomarker for prognosis.

Study Recommends Cancer Screening for Dogs Beginning Age Seven, Depending on Breed

PetDx researchers report in PLOS One that annual cancer screening for dogs should begin by age seven.

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.