Science & Technology

Microbes Make Chemicals for Scent Marking in a Cat

September 13, 2019

By Andy Fell

Domestic cats, like many other mammals, use smelly secretions from anal sacs to mark territory and communicate with other animals. A new study from the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis, shows that many odiferous compounds from a male cat are actually made not by the cat, but by a community of bacteria living in the anal sacs. The work is published Sept. 13 in PLOS ONE

Microbiome Centers – Input Wanted

July 15, 2019

Originally posted in by Program Director Jonathan Eisen. 

Compiling a list of Microbiome Centers from the US and elsewhere. I had previously done this and have no made a new effort in part in association with a meeting of Microbiome Centers organized by Jen Hughes Martiny and others of the UC Irvine Microbiome Initiative. I would love suggestions for other centers to add to this list and any edits or corrections to this list.

Robot Arm Tastes With Engineered Bacteria

June 26, 2019

By Andy Fell

A robotic gripping arm that uses engineered bacteria to “taste” for a specific chemical has been developed by engineers at the University of California, Davis, and Carnegie Mellon University. The gripper is a proof-of-concept for biologically-based soft robotics. 

Mice Reproducibility Crisis May Be Linked To Microbiota

April 08, 2019

Professor Andreas Baumler was featured in an article by Emma Yasinski at The Scientist regarding his team's recently published evidence that at least in some mouse studies, the problem of reproducibility may come down to the bacteria in the model’s gut.