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Guts bring glory: microbiomes of elite athletes may mean an edge

Elite athletes often work their entires lives to excel in their sport, but new research shows they may also get a slight edge from their digestive tracts. Scientists have tapped into the microbiome of elite runners and rowers to identify certain bacteria that may be responsible for a boost in their athletic performance. “When we first started thinking about this, I was asked whether we could use genomics to predict the next Michael Jordan,” says Jonathan Scheiman, Ph.D., fellow in the laboratory of George Church, Ph.D. at Harvard Medical School. “But my response was that a better question is: Can you extract Jordan’s biology and give it to others to help make the next Michael Jordan?” To identify which bacteria support athletic performance, researchers collected daily samples of 20 athletes training for world-reknown Boston marathon in 2015. The microbiomes were then examined for changes between performance and recovery. In studying the…

Stop bacteria from building up in your knife block

How to Clean a Knife Block Your floors, fridge, countertops and even oven make in on to your regular cleaning checklist, but there’s one surface in your kitchen you have probably never even touched. Consider your knife block. Sure, your knives are clean when you stow them in the slots, but dust and other debris can accumulate in these small spaces anyway. Despite our usual disregard for them, knife blocks should actually be washed and sanitized monthly if use frequently. Moisture can lead to mold and bacteria build-up, so to avoid larger cleaning issues, wash knives after each use and dry each thoroughly before sliding back into the knife block. Sanitize a knife block by following these simple steps: Step 1: Remove any knives stored in the block and set aside. Turn the block upside side over the sink and shake lightly to remove large debris. Step 2: Use a…

You’re cleaning your cutting board wrong and it could make you ill

Raw meat, juicy fruits and vegetables, herbs, fish — your cutting board has been underneath it all. Cutting boards are an integral part of any kitchen, but with all of this chopping action, isn’t there a hygiene concern? Most of us wash our cutting boards with warm, soapy water, thinking we’ve taken care of the task and happily move on to something else. But cutting boards have been reported to harbor 200 percent more fecal bacteria than your everyday toilet seat. It’s time to switch up our cleaning routine. Washing with soapy liquid is effective at killing harmful bacteria present on other kitchen items — plates, cutlery, utensils, counters — it just can’t compete with the cold, hard surface of a cutting board, meaning bacteria can linger and make you ill. Sarah from Expert Home Tips told The Mirror that bleach is the answer. “Soaking chopping boards in bleach after every use…