The deer ticks that transmit Lyme disease may also harbor “relapsing fever”—caused by Borrelia miyamotoi, discovered in Japan in 1995. For a study in July’s Emerging Infectious Diseases, Peter J. Krause, senior research scientist at the School of Public Health, and colleagues analyzed blood collected between 1991 and 2012 from 639 healthy adults of southern New England. Sixty (9.4 percent) had antibody evidence of past infection by the Lyme bacterium, 25 (nearly 4 percent) of past infection by Borrelia miyamotoi.


Caring for an infant changes a mother’s brain, and also, it turns out, a dad’s. Ruth Feldman, an adjunct psychology professor at the Yale Child Study Center, and colleagues used brain imaging techniques to study primary-caregiving heterosexual mothers, secondary-caregiving heterosexual fathers, and primary-caregiving homosexual fathers. All showed the integration of emotional processing and sociocognitive circuits already known to take place in mothers, the team reported online in the May Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Mothers’ emotional processing was activated more than sociocognitive; for secondary-caregiving fathers, it was the reverse. For primary-caregiving dads, the pathways turned on equally.


The bacteria on your hands can be revealing. For the May online Microbiology, environmental engineering professor Jordan Peccia and collaborators examined the hand microbiomes of 15 female US graduate students and 29 adult Tanzanian women. The concentration of bacteria on the Tanzanians’ hands was 11 times greater than on those of the US graduate students, and was rich in soil-associated bacteria—which were rare for the students, who work indoors.

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