You’ve most likely heard of the gut microbiome – the trillions of microbes that live in our digestive tract – and its important role in health. University of Washington gastroenterologist Christopher Damman’s article on the microbiome-mitochondria axis will deepen your understanding and help you appreciate the medicinal potential of food. He explains that this area of research, which focuses on how the “microbiome’s biochemical signals regulate the growth and function of energy-producing mitochondria” in certain cells, could be critical to understanding which types of foods can address chronic diseases.

Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with ADHD, and the recent shortage of the drug Adderall has brought attention to people with this condition. University of Florida neuroscientist Habibeh Khoshbouei provides an excellent explainer on how amphetamines like Adderall and Ritalin affect people’s dopamine levels and act as treatment for people with ADHD. She also details the dangers to people without ADHD who use these drugs, which include cardiovascular complications, sleep disturbances and addiction.

Last month the CDC issued a warning on the fungus Candida auris, which is spreading disease in hospitals; our editors reached out to an infectious disease expert to explain what you need to know. One of the most widely covered climate studies last week was one that found that global warming is contributing to the trend of more home runs in professional baseball. And in a story popular with readers last week, a coastal scientist writes about the huge floating mats of brown seaweed called sargassum now heading toward Florida in the Caribbean.

Also in this week’s science news:

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The gut microbiome may play a role in regulating the body’s appetite, cognition and immune responses. nopparit/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Hangry bacteria in your gut microbiome are linked to chronic disease – feeding them what they need could lead to happier cells and a healthier body

Christopher Damman, University of Washington

Research has examined how ultraprocessed foods can contribute to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and mood disorders. A healthier diet is one way to use food as medicine.

Many people with ADHD are finding it difficult to get their Adderall prescriptions filled amid the shortage. AP Photo/Jenny Kane

Misuse of Adderall promotes stigma and mistrust for patients who need it – a neuroscientist explains the science behind the controversial ADHD drug

Habibeh Khoshbouei, University of Florida

For those who need it, Adderall and other stimulants can be game-changing medications that help restore the chemical imbalances underlying ADHD. But for those who don’t, these drugs can be harmful.

The Drake Passage, seen from Antarctica, is one of the most turbulent ocean regions on Earth. Lilian Dove

In the turbulent Drake Passage, scientists find a rare window where carbon sinks quickly into the deep ocean

Lilian (Lily) Dove, California Institute of Technology

Working with underwater robots, scientists show how deep sea mountains and fast currents between Antarctica and South America play a crucial role in stabilizing the climate.

Don’t bet with ChatGPT – study shows language AIs often make irrational decisions

Mayank Kejriwal, University of Southern California

Language model AIs are smooth talkers, but you shouldn’t rely on them to make important decisions. That’s because they have trouble telling the difference between a gain and a loss.

Macaque monkeys shrink their social networks as they age – new research suggests evolutionary roots of a pattern seen in elderly people, too

Erin Siracusa, University of Exeter; Noah Snyder-Mackler, Arizona State University

Many older people tend to trim their social circles and focus their social efforts on family and close friends. New research on our close primate relatives may help explain why.

How do trees die?

Camille Stevens-Rumann, Colorado State University

Even in death, a tree helps others live.

Jupiter’s moons hide giant subsurface oceans – two upcoming missions are sending spacecraft to see if these moons could support life

Mike Sori, Purdue University

The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer and Europa Clipper missions will arrive at Jupiter in the 2030s and provide researchers with unprecedented access to the icy moons orbiting the gas giant.

Deadly fungus Candida auris is spreading across US hospitals - a physician answers 5 questions about rising fungal infections

Arif R. Sarwari, West Virginia University

Candida auris is a relatively new addition to a family of fungi that can infect people. Most of these infections occur in sick, hospitalized patients and can be deadly.

MLB home run counts are rising – and global warming is playing a role

Christopher W. Callahan, Dartmouth College; Justin S. Mankin, Dartmouth College

Scientists analyzed 100,000 baseball games, from the days of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays to Aaron Judge. Here’s what they learned about the climate’s growing role.