Microbiome Digest, November 4, 2014

Tomorrow, Wednesday November 5, at 1:00pm USA-EST : Upcoming AMA (Ask Me Anything) in reddit/r/science: “Microbiota of the human gut” with my co-worker Les Dethlefsen. Ask him anything! You can submit questions, vote for the best questions, and the top questions will be answered by Les.

Human gut microbiome

* Rapid changes in the gut microbiome during human evolution – Andrew H. Moeller – PNAS USA

“To establish how the gut microbiome has changed since the diversification of human and ape species, we characterized the microbial assemblages residing within hundreds of wild chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas.”

and: Human Gut Bacteria Much Different Than Apes – Science 2.0

* Blastocystis Is Associated with Decrease of Fecal Microbiota Protective Bacteria: Comparative Analysis between Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Control Subjects – Céline Nourrisson – PLOS ONE

“Here, we first compared the prevalence of Blastocystis among 56 IBS patients (40 IBS with constipation (IBS-C), 9 IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D), 4 mixed IBS (IBS-M) and 3 unsubtyped IBS (IBS-U) according to the Rome III criteria) and 56 control (i.e. without any diagnosed chronic or acute gastrointestinal disorder) subjects. “

Animal models of microbiome research

* Bone Marrow Dendritic Cells from Mice with an Altered Microbiota Provide Interleukin 17A-Dependent Protection against Entamoeba histolytica Colitis – Stacey L. Burgess – mBio

“In studies utilizing a murine model, we demonstrated that colonization of the gut with the commensal Clostridia-related bacteria known as segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) is protective during E. histolytica infection.”

Animal microbiome

Effect of Copper Treatment on the Composition and Function of the Bacterial Community in the Sponge Haliclona cymaeformis – Ren-Mao Tian – mBio

“16S rRNA gene sequencing results showed that the sponge Haliclona cymaeformis harbored symbiotic sulfur-oxidizing Ectothiorhodospiraceae and photosynthetic Cyanobacteria as dominant species. “

Bioinformatics tools

Massive fungal biodiversity data re-annotation with multi-level clustering – Duong Vu – Scientific Reports

“An implementation of the algorithm allowed clustering of all 344,239 ITS (Internal Transcribed Spacer) fungal sequences from GenBank”

Viruses and phages

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry applied to virus identification – Adriana Calderaro – Scientific Reports

“The results revealed MALDI-TOF MS to be an effective and inexpensive tool for the identification of the three poliovirus serotypes. “

More microbiology

Occurrence and expression of bacterial human virulence gene homologues in natural soil bacteria – Ditte A. Søborg – FEMS Microbial Ecology

“About 25% of the bacterial isolates contained virulence gene homologues representing toxin (hblA, cytK2), adhesin (fimH), regulator (phoQ) and resistance (yfbI) determinants in pathogenic bacteria.”

Science, publishing, and career

* Don’t Worry Your Pretty Little Heads – Rebecca Schuman – Slate

“I don’t understand how they wrote the paper or the op-ed they did while looking at the same results I see in their paper. … Where I come from,” she concludes, “we call that institutional bias.”

Bik’s Picks

Birds found using human musical scales for the first time – Virginia Morell – Science Blog

“The flutelike songs of the male hermit thrush (Catharus guttatus) are some of the most beautiful in the animal kingdom.”

Vaccine-resistant polio strain discovered – Science Daily

“The DNA sequence shows two mutations, unknown until now, of the proteins that form the “shell” (capsid) of the virus.”

The appliance of science: home experiments with your kids – Louise Holden – Irish Times

“Next week is Science Week, and one of the messages that McCarthy is hoping to put out there is that science is for everybody, not just those hoping to work in the sector. Helping your child to become science-literate is a great gift.”

The top 20 catchiest songs of all time, according to science – Michelle Starr – CNET

“A year-long survey by the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester has revealed the top 10 most persistent earworms — with the Spice Girls topping the list.”

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