Why eating garlic makes your breath stink, a new discovery offers hope for spinal cord injuries and how gut bacteria influences your food selection.

Discovery Offers New Hope to Repair Spinal Cord Injuries

(Gladstone News, 4/24/2017, Dana G. Smith, Ph.D.)

A special type of neuron made from human stems cells has been created by a team of scientists that could potentially repair spinal cord injuries.  These stem cells, called V2a interneurons, transmit signals in the spinal cord to help control movement. Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes transplanted the cells into mouse spinal cords, the interneurons sprouted and integrated with existing cells.  The next step is to transplant the cells into mice with spinal cord injuries to see if the V2a interneurons can help to restore movement after damage has occurred.

How Gut Bacteria Tell Their Hosts What to Eat

(Scientific American, 4/25/2017, Knvul Sheikh)

Deciding what to have for lunch?  Did you know that it could influence your behavior? Scientists have known for decades that what we eat can change the balance of microbes in our digestive tracts.  But exactly how these trillions of microbes influence our decisions on which foods to stuff into our mouths has been a mystery.  Now neuroscientists have found specific types of gut flora help a host animal detect which nutrients are missing in food, and then finely titrate how much of those nutrients the host really needs to eat. The data is limited to animal models so far but researchers believes that gut–brain communication can provide fertile ground for developing treatments for humans in the future.

Here’s Why Your Breath Stinks After Eating Garlic

(LabRoots, 4/27/2017, Anthony Bouchard)

You love garlic but you don’t love garlic breath.  Come on, we all know it’s a thing!  It may taste delicious while cooking and consuming but there is actually a scientific explanation on why this happens.  Garlic releases a total of six sulfur-containing compounds in the body once its ingested. While most of those are metabolized in a short period of time, one of them lingers around for a bit and is absorbed by the bloodstream where it gets carried to the lungs.  Unfortunately, because the stink is inside your lungs, even brushing your teeth and using mouthwash isn’t going to help.

 

—Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola