AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Author: martochondria

Can Probiotics Cure Alzheimer’s?



Research on how gut microbiota affects Alzheimer’s Disease, also called AD, has been done, and promising data collected. The only problem is that all of this data comes solely from research done on mice. There has been minimal research up to the present that was tested on actual people.

The closest thing to real-life research in this field, however, would be the research done by Dr. Mahmoud Salami, as reviewed by Gut Microbiota Research and Practice. Dr. Salami has collected data from a trial he is conducting in Iran. This trial consists of 60 people between the age 60 and 95. Now since we know that there has been minimal research on how gut microbiota effects Alzheimer’s, this work done by Dr. Salami is impressive.

Dr. Salami has found that a daily dose of probiotic Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria taken over 12 weeks may improve cognitive function in elderly Alzheimer’s patients. Although more research must be done to have more definitive answers, Dr. Salami’s research opens up even more of a reason to human testing to be done.

Countless research has been done on how where one lives can affect there health, so wouldn’t it be interesting to see if data, similar to Dr. Salami’s, collected in varying locations throughout the world may provide varying results due to the location the participant calls their home?



Are Politics Playing a Role in the Fate of the Great Barrier Reef?

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but that does not mean that it is invincible. In fact, it has been in grave danger for some time now. A new study, written about in ScienceMag, explains how the Australian government is stepping up to initiate protocols to protect the Great Barrier Reef. They focus a lot on short-term goals. This seems to be because, in the public’s eye, the Australian government is supposed to be doing something to fix this problem, so they are, but not enough to truly guarantee the safety of the reef. One main reason that the Australian government is getting involved at all is to insure that tourism doesn’t get negatively affected.


But would if really be a bad thing if tourism to the Great Barrier Reef were negatively affected?


The answer isn’t so clear-cut. It really depends on one’s perspective. From the point of view of someone truly interested in keeping the Great Barrier Reef alive, a decline in tourism at the reef would be much preferred. This is because the unprecedented number of people entering the reef disrupts the reef’s ecosystem. The foot traffic, fuel pollution, and anchor damage inflicted by tourism on the reef is a big reason for the steady decline in the reef’s life.


Tourism isn’t all to blame, though. A huge factor in the death of the Great Barrier Reef is global warming. Now this is where the Australian government stays silent in regards to the reef. Global Warming is responsible for the long-term death of the Great Barrier Reef. The increase in water temperature, even if it is just by a degree or two, is not good for the survival of the coral. If water temperatures don’t return to their lower temperature, there may be nothing that can be done to save the Great Barrier Reef.


But for now, people are just happy that something is being done to save the reef, even if it is counterproductive in the long run.

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