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Leaf-feeding caterpillars greatly enrich their intestinal flora by eating soil. It's even possible to trace the legacy effects of plants that previously grew in that soil through bacteria and fungi in the caterpillars.
The Italian Crested Newt eats anything and everything it can overpower. Earthworms, mosquito larvae and water fleas are on its menu, but also snails, small fish and even its own offspring. A research team has now studied the newt's chewing behavior and has made an astounding discovery.
In a surprising finding, researchers showed the protein NLRP6 aggravated the difficult symptoms of gastrointestinal graft-vs.-host disease. Knocking out this protein in mice led to significantly better survival and less severe GVHD.