Microbiome digest, September 22, 2014

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Temporal stability of the microbiomes of 85 adults, bacteria in breast milk, vaginal microbiome during pregnancy, water microbiomes, and Bik’s Picks.

Human microbiome general

Temporal variability is a personalized feature of the human microbiome – Gilberto E Flores – PeerJ PrePrints

“Here we address this gap in understanding by profiling the forehead, gut (fecal), palm, and tongue microbial communities in 85 adults, weekly over three months.”

Pregnancy and birth

It’s Alive: Microbes and Cells in Human Milk and Their Potential Benefits to Mother and Infant – Lars Bode – Advances in Nutrition

“This article is a summary of the symposium “It’s Alive: Microbes and Cells in Human Milk and Their Potential Benefits to Mother and Infant” held 29 April 2014 at the ASN Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2014 in San Diego, CA.”

Microorganisms in the Female Genital Tract during Pregnancy: Tolerance versus Pathogenesis – Bruna de Andrade Ramos – American Journal of Reproductive Immunology

“We review the state of knowledge of microbe–host interactions in gestational tissues and highlight mechanisms that promote tolerance or pathogenesis.”

Determinants and pattern of care seeking for preterm newborns in a rural Bangladeshi cohort – Rashed Shah – BMC Health Services Research

“Only one-fifth (19.7%) of preterm newborns were taken to seek either preventive or curative health care.”

Human oral microbiome

Microbial signature profiles of periodontally healthy and diseased patients – Talita Gomes Baêta Lourenço – Journal of Clinical Periodontology

“Subgingival biofilm was obtained from patients with periodontal health (27), gingivitis (11), chronic periodontitis (35) and aggressive periodontitis (24), and analysed for the presence of >250 species/phylotypes using HOMIM.”

Human gut microbiome

Review: Modulation of the Gut Microbiota by Nutrients with Prebiotic and Probiotic Properties – Céline Druart – Advances in Nutrition

“In this review, we describe how changes in the composition and/or activity of the gut microbiota by administration of nutrients with probiotic or prebiotic properties can modulate host gene expression and metabolism and thereby positively influence host adipose tissue development and related metabolic disorders.”

Mammal microbiome

Resistance to Antibiotics of Clinical Relevance in the Fecal Microbiota of Mexican Wildlife – Jurgi Cristóbal-Azkarate – PLOS ONE

“Here, we used culture and molecular methods to assess ATBR in bacteria in fecal samples from howler monkeys, spider monkeys, tapirs and felids living freely in two regions of the Mexican state of Veracruz under different degrees of human influence.“

Bird microbiome

Do feather-degrading bacteria actually degrade feather colour? No significant effects of plumage microbiome modifications on feather colouration in wild great tits – Staffan Jacob – Naturwissenschaften

“Here, we tested whether (i) keratinolytic microorganisms can degrade feathers in vivo and thus modify the colour of feathers during the nesting period and (ii) whether feather microorganisms have a long-term effect on the investment in colouration of newly moulted feathers.”

Plant microbiome

Impact of swapping soils on the endophytic bacterial communities of pre-domesticated, ancient and modern maize – David Johnston-Monje – BMC Plant Biology

“The impact of these soil swaps on founder bacterial endophyte communities was tested using 16S-rDNA profiling, culturing and microbial trait phenotyping.“

Microbiota in Wheat Roots, Rhizosphere and Soil in Crops Grown in Organic and Other Production Systems – Leszek Lenc – Journal of Phytopathology

“The other two systems were intermediate, with microbial communities suggesting that the conventional system produced a slightly more suppressive environment than the integrated system. “

Soil microbiome

Bacterial and Archaeal Communities in Bleached Mottles of Tropical Podzols –
K. J. Silva, P. Vidal-Torrado, M. R. Lambais – Microbial Ecology

“In this study, we examined the bacterial and archaeal communities along three Brazilian coastal podzol profiles, as well as in bleached mottles and their immediate vicinity, using 16S rRNA gene profiling.”

Water microbiome

Microplastic is an abundant and distinct microbial habitat in an urban river – Amanda McCormick – Environmental Science & Technology

“Results from high-throughput sequencing showed that bacterial assemblages colonizing microplastic within the river were less diverse and were significantly different in taxonomic composition compared to those from the water column and suspended organic matter.”

Application of Ion Torrent Sequencing to the Assessment of the Effect of Alkali Ballast Water Treatment on Microbial Community Diversity – Masanori Fujimoto – PLOS ONE

“The impact of NaOH as a ballast water treatment (BWT) on microbial community diversity was assessed using the 16S rRNA gene based Ion Torrent sequencing with its new 400 base chemistry.”

Microbial diversity of the Soldhar hot spring, India, assessed by analyzing 16S rRNA and protein-coding genes – Avinash Sharma – Annals of Microbiology

“Bacterial diversity of the Soldhar hot spring, located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India, was investigated using a clone library, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and functional genes.”

Microbial community composition and in silico predicted metabolic potential reflect biogeochemical gradients between distinct peatland types – Zuzana Urbanová and Jiří Bárta – FEMS Microbial Ecology

“Species richness and microbial diversity increased significantly from bog to fen, with SSF in between, reflecting the variation in pH, nutrient availability and peat decomposability. “

A molecular survey of freshwater microeukaryotes in an Arctic reservoir (Svalbard, 79°N) in summer by using next-generation sequencing – Thangavelu Boopathi – Polar Biology

“In this study, freshwater microeukaryotes in an Arctic reservoir at Ny-Ǻlesund (Svalbard, Norway) were studied using the hypervariable V1–V3 small subunit rRNA and 454 pyrosequencing.”

Built Environment

Urban microbiomes and urban ecology: How do microbes in the built environment affect human sustainability in cities? – Gary M. King – Journal of Microbiology

“I provide here a definition of the urban microbiome, and through examples indicate its centrality to human function and wellbeing in urban systems”

Phages and viruses

Metagenomic Evaluation of the Highly Abundant Human Gut Bacteriophage CrAssphage for Source Tracking of Human Fecal Pollution – Elyse Stachler and Kyle Bibby – Environmental Science & Technology

“Here, 86 publically available metagenomes were surveyed to determine the presence and abundance of crAssphage in various environments, and to identify its utility for source tracking of human fecal pollution.”

Microbes in the news

Understanding the Microbiome and Its Impact on Human Health – Kristine Nally – HCPLive

“Instant polling at an educational session of the 2014 American Academy of Pain Management annual clinical meeting in Phoenix, AZ, revealed that only 40 percent of the approximately 350-person audience was “familiar” with the concept of a microbiome.”

Mining the microbiome for medicines – Set a thief… – The Economist

“Antibiotics are not the only things Dr Donia’s technique might turn up, for the bugs in the human microbiome spit out all sorts of other chemicals that could potentially be put to use as drugs.”

Techniques

Comparative Analysis of Functional Metagenomic Annotation and the Mappability of Short Reads – Rogan Carr and Elhanan Borenstein – MicroBEnet

“We therefore set out to develop a set of ‘best practices’ for our lab for metagenomic sequence annotation and to prove (or disprove) quantitatively that such direct functional annotation of short reads provides a valid functional representation of the sample.”

Science and publishing

Anonymous peer-review comments may spark legal battle – Kelly Servick – Science Insider

“The power of anonymous comments—and the liability of those who make them—is at the heart of a possible legal battle embroiling PubPeer, an online forum launched in October 2012 for anonymous, postpublication peer review.”

Time to Raise the Profile of Women and Minorities in Science – Brian Welle and Megan Smith – Scientific American

“Along these lines, over the past few years, we discovered some pretty ugly news about our beloved Google Doodles. “

Bik’s Picks

Immune system of newborn babies stronger than previously thought – Science Daily

“Contrary to what was previously thought, newborn immune T cells may have the ability to trigger an inflammatory response to bacteria, according to a new study.”

The Preservation Of Lonesome George – Sarah Fecht – PopSci.com

“Decades after the last giant tortoise was thought to have disappeared from the island of Pinta in the Galapagos, Lonesome George turned up in 1971 and became a conservation icon.”

 Great white sharks partly to blame for otter recovery stall – Peter Fimrite – SF Gate

“Most scientists agree that the number of animals, which are also known as southern sea otters, should be increasing, but hungry predators and a lack of food may be limiting their growth.”

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