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NAU professor and a team of researchers are seeking to better understand staph bacteria, information that could lead to reductions of the potentially lethal pathogen. Abstract The human microbiome can play a key role in host susceptibility to pathogens, including in the nasal cavity, a site favored by Staphylococcus aureus. However, what determines our resident nasal microbiota—the host or the environment—and can interactions among nasal bacteria determine S. aureus colonization? Our study of 46 monozygotic and 43 dizygotic twin pairs revealed that nasal microbiota is an environmentally derived trait, but the host’s sex and genetics significantly influence nasal bacterial density. Although specific taxa, including lactic acid bacteria, can determine S. aureus colonization, their negative interactions depend on thresholds of absolute abundance. These findings demonstrate that nasal microbiota is not fixed by host genetics and opens the possibility that nasal microbiota...
Rising atmospheric CO2 and the distribution of potentially toxic elements in ecosystems (Astrobiology Magazine)
Experimental arrays measuring carbon dioxide Sunrise over the subtropical oak woodland, elevated CO2 experiment at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The experiment used open-top chambers to increase CO2 concentrations, with paired chambers with no extra CO2 serving as controls. The experiment ran from 1996-2007. Photo credit: Bert Drake.