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

Study finds gut microbes adapt quickly to changes in food preparation

Scientists have recently discovered that different diets — say, high-fat versus low-fat, or plant-based versus animal-based — can rapidly and reproducibly alter the composition and activity of the gut microbiome, where differences in the composition and activity can affect everything from metabolism to immunity to behavior.

Clea Simon • harvard
Oct. 2, 2019 ~8 min

Tags:  fas  clea-simon  health-medicine  human-evolutionary-biology  vayu-maini-rekdal  cooking  gut-microbiome  katia-chadaideh-corinne-f-maurice  kylynda-bauer  nature-microbiology  peter-turnbaugh  rachel-carmody

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

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