Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Seagull Microbiome Altered by Microplastic Exposure

Researchers from Germany, Portugal, and Canada reporting in Nature Ecology and Evolution outline gut microbial community shifts in two wild seabird species subjected to microplastics in the environment. The team turned to 16S ribosomal RNA sequences to profile the microbiome communities within cloaca and proventriculus organ samples from dozens of Cory's shearwaters (Calonectris borealis) and northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) found in the waters off Portugal and Canada, respectively. Their results suggest that microplastics can alter the microbial species found in the wild bird gut sites tested, as well as the broader diversity at these microbiome sites. "The amount of microplastics in the gut was significantly correlated with gut microbial diversity and composition: microplastics were associated with decreases in commensal microbiota and increases in (zoonotic) pathogens and antibiotic-resistant and plastic-degrading microbes," the authors report. "These results illustrate that environmentally relevant microplastic concentrations and mixtures are associated with changes in gut microbiomes in wild seabirds."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.