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'Fast food' eating bats have less healthy guts

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Pallas's long-tongued bat (Glossophaga soricina), feeding on nectar from banana trees in Costa Rica Nectar-feeding bats have a diverse diet and a diverse gut microbiome too. When these bats get an easy and quick supply of food, in their case banana plantations, they take to this 'fast-food' since it is reliable. Just like humans, how this food is grown determines the nature of their gut microbiome, says a recently published study   The researchers collected fecal samples from bats that had foraged for an hour after sunset in intensive banana plantations, organic plantations as well as from bats feeding in their natural habitat. They used DNA sequencing to determine which bacterial groups were present, absent, more common , or they were linked to a specific habitat. They also measured the bat’s body condition, which included their size and weight. Bats feeding in plantations also had higher body mass and size, a result of the ready availability of food. While bats in natural

Obesity does not damage your knees, microbes do!

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Difference between a normal knee and one affected by osteoarthritis.Image credit: Wikimedia Commons Damage to the knees, or osteoarthritis, is commonly seen in people who are obese. For many years, it was assumed that osteoarthritis is due to additional stress on the knee joints, due to increased weight. However, studies have shown that the commonly seen side effect of obesity is actually due to the increase in systemic and local inflammation caused by macrophages and other inflammatory cells that are targeting the adipose tissue but the joints tissue are caught in the cross fire and undergo degeneration.  Studies published over the last couple of years have now been able to associate the inflammation seen in obesity to the gut microbiome . While this might sound a bit outlandish, researchers studying the gut microbiomes have found that nature of microbiome of the gut is dependent primarily on the dietary intake. Nature of food intake can distort the natural flora of the gu