About the Project

The BABE project (short for Baby-Associated Built Environment) is investigating how a good bacteria that lives in the gut of babies spreads around by conducting a survey of man-made environments where babies are found. Babies who have this bacteria (called "bifidobacteria") in them enjoy a number of health-related benefits, and we are trying to figure out why some babies have the bacteria and some don't. We think the answer might lie in how babies transfer microbes to each other. We are taking samples at locations like daycares, baby changing tables, and other places where babies go to look for this good microbe. Think of it like going on a microbial "safari!"

January 13, 2017 - Thanks for having our bac, Zac!

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to get involved with research. We’ve been able to learn so much about such a new field of science. You have been incredibly supportive while challenging all of us to become better researchers. It was great that you let us be independent and actively involved in experiments. Many of our peers who were in labs just cleaned equipment and did random tasks.We’ll all miss you,

farewell picture –BabeSquad

October 30, 2015 - BABE Microbiome Project featured on microbe.net

An overview of the project was recently posted on the microbiology news site microbe.net. You can view the full article here.

July 08, 2015 - Mother's Littlest Helpers: New perspective piece by Zac Lewis and Katie Hinde in Science

How do the microbes that colonize infants early in life get there, what do they do, and what do they teach us? View the full article here

April 10, 2015 - Lewis et al. paper profiled by NPR

NPR has written a piece entitled Bundle of Joyful Microbes: Mom’s DNA Alters Baby’s Gut Bacteria about the Lewis et. al Microbiome paper. View the full article here.

April 10, 2015 - New publication on infant gut communities from BABE team member

Zachery Lewis (the team leader of the BABE Project) recently published a paper on how the microbial community that lives in the guts of infants is affected by breast milk. This paper entitled “Maternal fucosyltransferase 2 status affects the gut bifidobacterial communities of breastfed infants” represents exciting research into how milk composition influences the colonization of infants by Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis. View the full article here