Probiotics for Livestock – Reducing Antibiotic Reliance

In the wake of the Obama administration’s plan to decrease antibiotic usage in livestock, farmers are now trying to find alternatives that have fewer ecological and human health impacts. In an effort to reduce reliance on antibiotics, researchers at Iowa State University are testing if Lactobacillus species found in yogurt might have a similar health effect on livestock as …

New Probiotics and Poop Pills

I’ve been seeing a lot of media articles recently on applications of gut microbiome research in health in terms of pills and probiotics. One article talks about a start-up that is trying to create various pills filled with bacteria associated with different positive health effects. Of course, there is the question if such probiotics will thrive in …

A Musing On The Future of Managed Microbiology of Built Environments

Perhaps you’ve heard about Dr. Premsyl Bercik’s recent publication in Nature Communications about the link between the gut microbiome and mental disorders such as depression and anxiety disorder. In his study, he induced early life stress in conventional mice and in germ-free mice by separating new born pups from their mother for several hours a …

Chicken Probiotics?

Just a quick post here on an NPR story that caught my attention “Giving Chickens Bacteria … To Keep Them Antibiotic-Free”.  Unlike with humans where determining the effect of probiotics is complicated by a lot of variation in the population (genetic, cultural, diet, etc.), with a whole bunch of chickens it’s easier to measure the …

Fish Want Probiotics Too

Researchers in Egypt did a fascinating study recently on probiotics for fish. They tested the effect of three different types of Psuedomonas fluorescens on two pathogens that affect tilapia in the Nile (P. angulliseptica and S. faecium). Their aim was to find a more eco-friendly way of controlling the pathogens in aquaculture compared to chemical antimicrobials. The probiotic was indeed …

Researchers explore natural solution to rid household plumbing of dangerous pathogens

Just a quick post to point out an article on phys.org talking about Amy Pruden’s fascinating work on probiotics for plumbing.   Read her microBEnet post about the work here and a related post by Kyle Bibby here. From the phys.org article: “We believe this microbiome can be harnessed to control opportunistic pathogens,” Pruden said. For …

Probiotics for Plumbing?

Hats off to Tuesday’s New York Times article, “A Quest for Even Safer Drinking Water,” for daring to bring microbiology to the people.  The article sheds light several key reasons we can no longer afford to ignore the vast microbial diversity that exists within the drinking water environment, among them are opportunistic pathogens and antibiotic …