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The Way to a Mouse's Brain Is Through its Gut

In a Scientific American podcast, Karen Hopkins reports on a new study that shows that a person's gut bacteria may affect their brain. In the study, which appears in Gastroenterology, researchers found that treating adult mice with oral antibiotics changed not only the bacterial community in their digestive tract, but their behavior and brain chemistry as well, Hopkins says. The normally shy mice became "less cautious and less anxious," she adds, and when they were taken off the drugs, their behavior returned to normal along with their "original intestinal balance." In order to confirm the association between gut and brain, the researchers took mice raised in germ-free cages and fed them bacteria from mice that were more active, Hopkins says. Indeed, the mice began to exhibit more energy and bold behavior. "So if you react to someone in a hostile way, you might literally be giving them a bellyful," Hopkins adds.

The Scan

Not Kept "Clean and Sanitary"

A Food and Drug Administration inspection uncovered problems with cross contamination at an Emergent BioSolutions facility, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Resumption Recommendation Expected

The Washington Post reports that US officials are expected to give the go-ahead to resume using Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Canada's New Budget on Science

Science writes that Canada's new budget includes funding for the life sciences, but not as much as hoped for investigator-driven research.

Nature Papers Examine Single-Cell, Multi-Omic SARS-CoV-2 Response; Flatfish Sequences; More

In Nature this week: single-cell, multi-omics analysis provides insight into COVID-19 pathogenesis, evolution of flatfish, and more.