New class of enzymes could lead to bespoke diets, therapeutics

Professor Emily Balskus and her team have identified an entirely new class of enzymes that degrade chemicals essential for neurological health, but also help digest foods like nuts, berries, and tea, releasing nutrients that may impact human health.

Caitlin McDermott-Murphy • harvard
Feb. 18, 2020 ~6 min

Tags:  science-technology  chemistry  diet  cancer  bacteria  parkinsons-disease  basic-research  emily-balskus  chemistry-and-chemical-biology  science  caitlin-mcdermott-murphy  microbiome  vayu-maini-rekdal  microbes  berries  bespoke-diets  chocolate  coffee  dopamine  enzymes  gut  l-dopa  microbiology  nutrition  nuts

Creating a reliable clock to track changes in microbiome

The microbiome is a treasure trove of information about human health and disease, but getting it to reveal its secrets is challenging, especially when attempting to study it in living subjects. A new genetic “repressilator” lets scientists noninvasively study its dynamics, acting like a clock that tracks how bacterial growth changes over time with single-cell precision.

Lindsay Brownell • harvard
Oct. 11, 2019 ~9 min

Tags:  science-technology  harvard-medical-school  wyss-institute  microbiome  bacterial-growth  repressilator

Harvard researchers find gut microbes can lessen effectiveness of medicines

Study published in Science shows that gut microbes can chew up medications, with serious side effects.

Caitlin McDermott-Murphy • harvard
June 19, 2019 ~9 min

Tags:  science-technology  chemistry  parkinsons-disease  fas  emily-balskus  chemistry-and-chemical-biology  graduate-school-of-arts-and-sciences  science  caitlin-mcdermott-murphy  gut-bacteria  microbiome  vayu-maini-rekdal

4 new Veritalk episodes take on food: culture, veganism, gut health, obesity

Harvard Ph.D. students explore the culture and science of food in the latest episodes of the Veritalk podcast. The talks cover veganism, gut health, food and diaspora, and childhood obesity.

GSAS Communications • harvard
June 4, 2019 ~3 min

Tags:  food  graduate-school-of-arts-and-sciences  health-medicine  microbiome  childhood-obesity  cultural-appropriation  veganism  veritalk

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