Sushi superpowers.

New Scientist hypes a pretty cool discovery about gene-swapping bacteria changing sushi-eaters’ digestion:

Genes regularly shuttle between different bacteria, offering each other new traits such as drug resistance. But this is the first time a gut bacterium has been found to have got new genes from its host’s food. In theory, Japanese people with the porphyranase enzyme can digest seaweed, while it passes straight through the North American gut.

“It’s a really nice demonstration of genetic variation of microbiota between individuals,” says Justin Sonnenburg, a microbiologist at Stanford University in California. He agrees that the gut bacteria from the Japanese people probably use the enzyme to break down seaweed carbs.

There’s just all kinds of weird stuff going on down there.