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Can Sushi Alter Your Genes?

It turns out that there are more problems with dining on sushi than just the fear of eating an endangered mammal. According to scientists, eating hot dogs can lead to genetic changes, but can it be the same for a healthy food like sushi?

Sushi can transfer specific genes into the human intestines, but ONLY if it is wrapped in seaweed, since the enzyme responsible for this comes from bacteria living on seaweed called Nori, which is the kind traditionally used to wrap sushi rolls.

In BBC News, Victoria Gill quotes researcher Mirjam Czjzek as saying that when they tested Japanese people, "Five out of the 13 people had this same gene [in their gut bacteria]." But when the researchers tested the gut bacteria of people in the US, "None of them had the gene."

Gill quotes microbiologist Justin Sonnenburg as saying, "Global travel and trade are providing unmatched access to new types of food and perhaps new microbes harboring novel genes. So the next time you take a bite of an unfamiliar food, think about the microbial inhabitants you may also be ingesting, ad the possibility that you will be providing one of your ten trillion closest friends with a new set of [digestive] utensils."

There's lots of healthy food to eat in Nashville, and lots of guitar-wearing waiters to serve it up too. But who would have guessed that it's the perfect place to hold a festival for UFOs?

Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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