Summary #886

Gut microbes help mice overcome their fears by changing brain activity

newscientist.com
  • Giving strong antibiotics to mice, which wiped out most of their gut bacteria, caused the disruption of a mechanism known as extinction learning.
  • This mechanism enables mice to lose fear of something when it doesn’t cause them any harm anymore.
  • Mice that had no gut bacteria stopped in fear when hearing a sound, even when they didn’t receive a shock after it anymore.
  • Looking at their brains, the researchers found that the mice had different active genes, and changed neural activity in the brain regions for fear and learning.

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