Microbiome Digest, August 1, 2014

Microbiome composition and vaccine response or chemotherapy, cassava beer, two nice articles about metagenomics tools and contamination, and the weekend picks.

Human gut microbiome

Stool Microbiota and Vaccine Responses of Infants – M. Nazmul Huda – Pediatrics

“Actinobacteria abundance was positively associated with T-cell responses to BCG, OPV, and TT; with the delayed-type hypersensitivity response; with immunoglobulin G responses; and with TI. B longum subspecies infantis correlated positively with TI and several vaccine responses. “

Systematic review: the role of the gut microbiota in chemotherapy- or radiation-induced gastrointestinal mucositis – current evidence and potential clinical applications – Y. Touchefeu – Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics

“Search of the literature published in English using Medline, Scopus and the Cochrane Library, with main search terms ‘intestinal microbiota’, ‘bacteremia’, ‘mucositis’, ‘chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea’, ‘chemotherapy-induced mucositis’, ‘radiotherapy-induced mucositis’.”

Food microbiology

Local domestication of lactic acid bacteria via cassava beer fermentation – Alese M. Colehour – PeerJ

“Bacteria responsible for chicha fermentation could be a source of microbes for the human microbiome, but little is known regarding the microbiology of chicha. “

Microbes in the News

It’s a bit – eh – graphic, but a nice overview of science and the people working in this field. I wish it would have contained a couple of pictures of non-pregnant women though. It feels as if we are only a vessel:  The Body’s Ecosystem – The Scientist

“Research on the human microbiome is booming, and scientists have moved from simply taking stock of gut flora to understanding the influence of microbes throughout the body.”

‘I’m not fat, it’s viral’ – Phage found in gut bacteria may aid obesity – Dan Stanton 0 Biopharma Reporter

“A newly discovered virus which infects intestinal bacteria might be a cause of obesity, but could increasing interest in bacteriophages drive new personalised medicines and alternatives to antibiotics?”

Diet Must be Different for Men and Women: Study – Soumo Ghosh – International Business Times

“The researchers found that the microscopic bacteria, or other such organism housed inside the human stomach are different in the case of men and women. Hence, they believe that the same diet for both may not have the same effect in them.”

Metabolomics

Emergent Biosynthetic Capacity in Simple Microbial Communities – Hsuan-Chao Chiu – PLOS Computational Biology

“Here we present a comprehensive computational framework, integrating high-quality metabolic models of multiple species, temporal dynamics, and flux variability analysis, to study the metabolic capacity and dynamics of simple two-species microbial ecosystems.”

Metagenomics

Metagenomics Mash-Up – Kelly Rae Chi – The Scientist

“The Scientist spoke with developers of tools for parsing genomic data from diverse communities of microorganisms. Here are some of the newest strategies and programs for taxonomic, functional, and comparative analyses.”

Microbial detection

Who are the contaminants in your sequencing project? – Jonathan Eisen – MicrobeNet

“Such amplification is alas pretty common – due to contamination occurring in some other material added to the PCR reaction. “

Science and publishing

The Self-Edited Woman – Paige Brown – SciLogs International

“Un-prompted, several young female science bloggers I’ve interviewed mention having blogged anonymously in the past, being self-conscious about expressing their expertise on a topic, or avoiding certain topics because of the nasty comments they might receive. “

Bik’s Picks

We have the science to build an Ebola vaccine. So why hasn’t it happened? – Sarah Kliff – Vox

“This isn’t how an Ebola outbreak has to work. Researchers have devoted lots of time to building a vaccine that could stop the disease altogether — and according to Daniel Bausch, a Tulane professor who researches Ebola and other infectious diseases, they’re making really significant progress.”

Littering and Following the Crowd – Vivian Wagner – The Atlantic

“Why it’s so tempting to throw trash on the ground, and how environmentalists are using psychology to change that”

F.D.A. Acts on Lab Tests Developed In-House – Andrew Pollack – The New York Times

“The Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday that it would start regulating medical laboratory testing, saying that tests used to make important treatment decisions must be vetted and validated before they go into use.”

Grad Student Freed By Police After Three Years Trapped In The Same Experiment – The Allium

“He is thought to have survived by eating printouts of PloS One papers and drinking his own tears.”

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