5 Feb 2022

Dr Matt Baker: microbiomes and hibernating squirrels

From Saturday Morning, 11:43 am on 5 February 2022
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Sydney-based New Zealander Dr Matt Baker returns for a chat about some of the latest science news. This week: to date CRISPR technology has been used to edit genomes of one type of cell at a time, but now the ability to edit entire microbiomes might be just around the corner. Dubbed "community editing", the technique could be employed to edit and track microbes within a natural community, such as in the gut or on the roots of a plant.

Also, we are closer to understanding how hibernating animals such as squirrels maintain their muscle mass while in long periods of fasting — and it might just come down to the microbes that live in their guts.

Dr Baker is the Scientia Research Fellow in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of New South Wales. 

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Photo: patricio89