Some 100 trillion beneficial microorganisms—bacteria, fungi, and viruses—populate your body inside and out. Many species keep us healthy by helping with digestion, producing nutrients, and strengthening the immune system. But what would happen if we didn’t have this assortment of beneficial, or commensal, microbiota living within us? To find out, NIH scientists are studying germ-free mice that have not been naturally colonized by microorganisms.
In a small room tucked away on the first floor of the Clinical Center (CC), NIH scientists are building robots. But don’t expect to see armies of cyborg clinicians marching through the hallways any time soon. These robots are mechanical devices that provide physical therapy assessment and training to patients whose muscles have been weakened by cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or other neurological disorders.
The NIH Library has undergone a transformation over the past 20 years in both its spirit and its physical appearance. Gone are most of the stacks, not to mention the dark rugs. Brilliant light now fills its first floor, which is best described as an information commons where users can relax and even, dare we say, eat and talk.
Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), which diverged from the gray wolf (Canis lupus) more than 15,000 years ago, have become a scientist’s best friend thanks to the work of NHGRI senior investigator Elaine Ostrander and her colleagues.
The NIH Intramural Research Program has a long history of interactions and shared resources among its investigators. These include core facilities that support crucial research activities, such as a sequencing center, a magnetic resonance imaging facility, a mass spectroscopy service, and a protein expression service. The most prominent example is the NIH Clinical Center, the nation’s largest hospital devoted entirely to clinical research, providing comprehensive services and facilities in support of clinical research sponsored by the institutes and centers.