Do Your Gut Bacteria Influence Your Metabolism?

In a new study, researchers were able to make mice lean or obese by altering their gut bacteria. Jeffrey Gordon, an author of the study, discusses how the interaction between diet and the microbial community in our gut influences our health.

Alzheimer’s Potential Missing Link

Reporting in Neuron, researchers write that a protein called mGlu5 may play a role in nerve cell death in Alzheimer’s disease. They found that blocking the protein with an existing drug restored memory in mice. Lead author Stephen Strittmatter discusses what this means for future Alzheimer’s treatments.

Study Correlates Copper Intake and Alzheimer’s in Mice

Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers write of a possible link between copper in drinking water and Alzheimer’s disease in mice. Lead author Rashid Deane discusses the potential mechanism.

Can White Blood Cells Spread Cancer?

Reporting in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Lorenzo Ferri of McGill University Health Centre and colleagues write of a new way that cancer might spread in the body. Working with mice, the researchers say they’ve shown that white blood cells, the body’s main line of defense against infection, may aid in spreading cancer when an animal with the disease experiences a severe infection.

Building a Liver From Stem Cells

Reporting in the journal Nature, researchers say they have created a functional liver using induced pluripotent stem cells. The team of scientists first created “liver buds” and transplanted those into mice, where the buds grew into tissue resembling the adult liver. Anthony Atala of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, who was not affiliated with the work, describes what was done and whether whole, functioning, transplantable organs might be created in this way.