Press Clips from 2015

December 10, 2015

the Atlantic

Meet the Necrobiome: The Waves of Microbes That Will Eat Your Corpse

A body falls in the woods and although no one is around to hear it, a clock starts ticking. It's not made of gears or springs, but of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes. The corpse dumps a huge flood of nutrients into the earth--a blend of fats and proteins that stands out among the carbohydrates typically found in leaf litter. Quickly, a dedicated coterie of bacteria, fungi, and nematode worms emerges to dine on this artisanal feast. " Full Story

December 8, 2015

Yahoo News!

Why It's Time to Map the Microbiome (Kavli Roundtable)

Microbes make life on Earth possible, yet we know so little about them. Now, a team of scientists aim to change that through an ambitious effort -- with researchers from 50 institutions -- called the Unified Microbiome Initiative. Their goal is to develop next-generation technologies to unlock the secrets of microbiomes, complex ecosystems of microorganisms -- from bacteria and fungi to algae and viruses -- that inhabit nearly every square inch of the planet and have densely colonized our bodies Full Story

October 30, 2015

Science AAAS

A unified initiative to harness Earth's microbiomes

Despite their centrality to life on Earth, we know little about how microbes (1) interact with each other, their hosts, or their environment. Although DNA sequencing technologies have enabled a new view of the ubiquity and diversity of microorganisms, this has mainly yielded snapshots that shed limited light on microbial functions or community dynamics. Given that nearly every habitat and organism hosts a diverse constellation of microorganisms--its "microbiome" Full Story

October 22, 2015

The San Diego Union Tribune

Star biologist pinpoints role of microbes in disease

Put down that fork. You're going to want to hear what Rob Knight has to say about the microbes in your gut before you consume another morsel of food. Your ability to fight diseases like diabetes and to metabolize drugs may depend on it. Knight is the prominent computational biologist that UC San Diego recruited earlier this year to help make the campus a leader in the study of the human microbiome. The term refers to the genetic make-up of all of the micro-organisms Full Story

January 20, 2015

One Scientist's Race To Help Microbes Help You

The rate of recent discoveries about the human microbiome has been dizzying. And Rob Knight wants to crank up the pace. One of the top scientists in a field that's discovering possible bacterial influences on everything from diabetes to depression, Knight was also co-founder of a massive citizen science experiment called the American Gut Project. He recently moved from the University of Colorado, Boulder and took the gut project with him -- to the medical school at the University of California, Full Story