Gut bacteria play key role in anti-seizure effects of ketogenic diet

UCLA scientists have identified specific gut bacteria that play an essential role in the anti-seizure effects of the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet. The study, published today in the journal Cell, is the first to establish a causal link between seizure susceptibility and the gut microbiota — the 100 trillion or so bacteria and other microbes that reside in the human body’s intestines.

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Rice becomes less nutritious as CO2 levels rise

Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will reduce the nutritional value of rice, according to an international research team that analyzed rice samples from field experiments started by a University of Tokyo professor. Specifically, iron, zinc, protein, and vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B9, were reduced in rice grown under higher carbon dioxide concentrations expected in the second half of this century (568 to 590 parts per million).

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Plants & Animals 

Reconstructing Zika’s spread

The urgent threat from Zika virus, which dominated news headlines in the spring and summer of 2016, has passed for now. But research into how Zika and other mosquito-borne infections spread and cause epidemics is still very active. In a paper published May 24 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, an international team of researchers reports new details of how Zika emerged from Brazil and spread throughout Mexico and Central America, with evidence that some locations had more than one outbreak.

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