Microbiome digest, August 27, 2014

Not many microbiome papers today, just some other interesting topics: does dirt make you happy, definition of preterm labor, cheese cultures, and solving a Death Valley mystery.

Pregnancy and birth 

The Problem With What Doctors Call Preterm Labor – Catherine Pearson – Huffington Post

“”We have been thinking of preterm birth as though it is one condition, and this is not the right way of thinking about the problem,” Dr. Roberto Romero, chief of the perinatology research branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, told The Huffington Post.”

Insect microbiome

* Identifying the core microbial community in the gut of fungus-growing termites – Saria Otani – Molecular Ecology

“Using 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we show that gut communities have representatives of 26 bacterial phyla and are dominated by Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Spirochaetes, Proteobacteria and Synergistetes”

Microbes in the news

* Does Dirt Make You Happy? – Anna Brones – Modern Farmer

“We benefit from being outdoors and exposed to things like soil and animals, because of the fact that we’re exposed to microorganisms.”

* Scientists and cheesemakers gather for (microbial) culture – Ewen Callaway – Nature News

““I fall in love every time I look at a cheese rind. They’re wonderful microbial ecosystems,” she says.”

Transcriptomics

Comparative analysis of the transcriptome across distant species – Mark B. Gerstein – Nature

“To this end, the ENCODE and modENCODE consortia have generated large amounts of matched RNA-sequencing data for human, worm and fly. “

Bik’s Picks

This has intrigued me for years – very happy to see this paper.
Sliding Rocks on Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park: First Observation of Rocks in Motion – Richard D. Norris – PLOS ONE

“the process of rock movement that we have observed occurs when the thin, 3 to 6 mm, “windowpane” ice sheet covering the playa pool begins to melt in late morning sun and breaks up under light winds of ~4–5 m/s.”

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