Certain types of bacteria in our intestines may be contributing to obesity, report UTMB’s Norbert Herzog and David Niesel in this week’s installment of Medical Discovery News. “Researchers compared the gut microbiota of lean and genetically obese mice. They did the same with human volunteers. The results showed obesity is connected to changes in the relative abundance of two dominant bacterias, the Bacteroidetes and the Firmicutes. They found that the obese microbiome are extremely good at harvesting energy from the diet. Plus, this trait is transmissible, which means when a germ-free mouse is colonized with ‘obese microbiota’ it ends up with significantly greater body fat than a mouse colonized with a lean microbiota. This shows the bacteria in our gut are another genetic factor in obesity. More importantly, it shows we may be able to change the makeup of the bacteria in our gut and hopefully help the many Americans who are obese or headed that way.” MDN airs locally at 10 a.m. every Saturday on KUHF-FM.