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Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Salamanders and Newts
Tree Frogs
Cacophony Acoustics
Feeding School for Meerkats
Girls are cool for school
Storing Memories before Bedtime
Why Cats Nap and Whales Snooze
Chemistry and Materials
The metal detector in your mouth
A Light Delay
The memory of a material
Galaxies on the go
Play for Science
The Book of Life
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Winged Insects May Go Way Back
Have shell, will travel
Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders
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E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Flower family knows its roots
Easy Ways to Conserve Water
Weird, new ant
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Easy Ways to Conserve Water
Hazy with a Chance of Sunshine
Finding the Past
Fakes in the museum
Oldest Writing in the New World
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Food and Nutrition
How Super Are Superfruits?
Yummy bugs
Building a Food Pyramid
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. Whom
Who vs. That vs. Which
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
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Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
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GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
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Play for Science
Setting a Prime Number Record
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Human Body
Cell Phone Tattlers
Dreaming makes perfect
Don't Eat That Sandwich!
Shih Tzus
Miscellaneous Mammals
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
How children learn
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Black Hole Journey
Powering Ball Lightning
Surprise Visitor
Nature's Alphabet
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Space and Astronomy
Sounds of Titan
Tossing Out a Black Hole Life Preserver
Big Galaxy Swallows Little Galaxy
Technology and Engineering
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
Searching for Alien Life
Riding Sunlight
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Noun
Ready, unplug, drive
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Either Martians or Mars has gas
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Catching Some Rays
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Gut Germs to the Rescue

In many situations, bacteria are bad guys. As soon as your defenses are down, the tiny microbes infect your body and make you sick. Germs can also be good for you, researchers are discovering. Between 500 and 1,000 different kinds of microbes live in a person's intestines. There are, in fact, more bacteria in your gut than cells in your entire body. Many of them may help keep us healthy. Take Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, for example. The tiny bacterium lives in our intestines and feeds off the food we eat. In exchange, B. thetaiotaomicron helps break down indigestible nuggets of food into sugars and produce vitamins that we can use. The wonders of gut microbes don't stop there. B. thetaiotaomicron also seems to regulate specific genes in the gut and helps the intestines work better by sparking the growth of blood vessels. This "good" bacterium even stimulates the production of a chemical that kills other kinds of "bad," disease-causing bacteria. To study how bacteria cause disease, scientists have created mice that have no germs at all. These animals end up needing to eat much more than do normal rodents, and they are much more likely to get sick. By introducing just B. thetaiotaomicron into germfree mice, researchers can find out what changes these particular bacteria cause. These changes include altering which sugars the intestine makes and keeping gut bacteria from sneaking into other parts of the body. As more details emerge about how important gut bacteria are to our health, you might want to add a Bacteria Appreciation Day to your date-book!E. Sohn

Gut Germs to the Rescue
Gut Germs to the Rescue

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