Daniel Amador-Noguez: The inner workings of microbial metabolism

When it comes to metabolism, though, there are a lot of unanswered questions. Why are some organisms capable of rapidly breaking down nutrients while others take longer? Why can some creatures consume just about anything, and others have to eat baked chicken every night or their GI tract revolts? And how do we draw maps of the way all this stuff works?

Getting to the bottom of these mysteries could help Daniel Amador-Noguez, an assistant professor of bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, improve biofuels, inform us about our guts’ determinations of what’s friend or foe, and even provide the basic science to individualize medical treatments based on a person’s own microbiome.

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