London: Some Japanese people can digest the seaweed, used to wrap sushi, thanks to genes from marine bacteria. The study has suggested that a marine microbe — perhaps ingested on a sliver of seaweed — probably transferred genes that encode algae-munching enzymes to bacteria that live in the human gut. The enzymes break down algal carbohydrates including one found in red algae of the genus Porphyra, best known to sushi lovers as ``nori``.
The results suggest that ingested bacteria may have provided a valuable genetic resource for gut microbes throughout human history, said Justin Sonnenburg, a microbiologist at Stanford University in California. ANI
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