We continue our amazing series about tummy ecology. About 1.5 kilo of your body weight is the bacterial flora in your tummy, and scientists have now figured out that they can pinpoint what city a person come from by the molecules that are present in the urine. The bacteria help us digest our food, and different life styles will lead to different bacterial compositions. This in turn influence which chemical interactions there will be between the food and the bacteria, which in turn leads to different molecular by products. That is the stuff these researchers screened for.
One example of specific digestive bacteria is the bacteria that cause chocolate cravings, which I wrote about before.
And while we are on the subject of molecules in urine, the FDA is now considering using biomarker assisted safety assessment for new pharmaceuticals. This is bureaucracy speak for looking for particular molecules that indicate trouble in saliva, blood, and urine. It is an interesting way to go, as it will standardize certain patient feedbacks in late stage drug testing. It will also drive down the cost of testing, unless this is added on as further documentation on top of what already exist. (I would not put that beyond the FDA.)