January 16, 2015

(edited: MicrobiomeNews has been around for a year, but I had not seen it until today)

I just found out about MicrobiomeNews, run by MoBio Laboratories. It seems to cover the same articles I have been blogging about.

So here is a question for you, dear readers: Should I stop running this blog MicrobiomeDigest and let MoBio do the work? With only ~100 visitors a day, I am not sure if my efforts (3-4 hours a day) are worth it. After a couple of months of growth, I seem to have reached a plateau, and it is just not serving the large audience I had hoped to attract.

Any suggestions for improvement or increasing the visibility of my blog are very welcome, at eliesbik * stanford dot edu!  But, at least today, here is a new installment.

Pregnancy and birth

Prematurity and Perinatal Antibiotics: A Tale of Two Factors Influencing Development of the Neonatal Gut Microbiota – Daniel B. DiGiulio – The Journal of Pediatrics

Intestinal dysbiosis: an emerging cause of pregnancy complications? – Dongxin Zhang – Medical Hypotheses

Human gut microbiome

The role of the gut microbiome in the healthy adult status – Valeria D’Argenio, Francesco Salvatore – Clinica Chimica Acta

What’s One Phosphate between Friends (and Foe)? – Charles L. Bevins, Andreas J. Bäumler – Cell Host & Microbe

Acarbose treatment affects the serum levels of inflammatory cytokines and the gut content of bifidobacteria in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus – Benli Su – Journal of Diabetes

Human urine microbiome

Search for Microorganisms in Men with Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome: A Culture-Independent Analysis in the MAPP Research Network – J. Curtis Nickel – The Journal of Urology

Animal models of microbiome research

Commensal microbes and interferon-λ determine persistence of enteric murine norovirus infection – Megan T. Baldridge – Science

Interferon-λ cures persistent murine norovirus infection in the absence of adaptive immunity – Timothy J. Nice – Science

Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis is Regulated by the Microbiome – Ebere S. Ogbonnaya – Biological Psychiatry

Animal microbiome

Sweet talking your partner – Christina Tobin Kåhrström – Nature Reviews Microbiology

Soil microbiome

Metagenomic Sequence of saline desert Microbiota from Wild Ass Sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, India – Patel Rajesh – Genomics Data

Phages and viruses

Temperate bacteriophages collected by outer membrane vesicles in Komagataeibacter intermedius – Alla Kharina – Journal of Basic Microbiology

Polintons: a hotbed of eukaryotic virus, transposon and plasmid evolution – Mart Krupovic & Eugene V. Koonin – Nature Reviews Microbiology


Rooting the Domain Archaea by Phylogenomic Analysis Supports the Foundation of the New Kingdom Proteoarchaeota – Céline Petitjean – Genome Biology and Evolution


What is a resistance gene? Ranking risk in resistomes – José L. Martínez – Nature Reviews Microbiology


Intestinal Microbiota-Derived Metabolomic Blood Plasma Markers for Prior Radiation Injury – Pilib Ó Broin – International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics

Metabolic dependence of phytoplankton species richness – A. M. Segura – Global Ecology and Biogeography

Microbes in the news

How The Body Maintains A Healthy Balance Of ‘Friendly’ Gut Bacteria – Carolyn Gregoire – Huffington Post

Cracked! Researchers Nearing Completion of Genetic Map of Grapevine Disease – James Duren – Snooth.com

A. vaginae, G. vaginalis linked to preterm birth, miscarriage – Healio

3Bar Biologics developing beneficial bacteria for farmers’ fields – Carrie Ghose – BizJournals

Brain Food: The Human Microbiome (podcast with Greg Caporaso) – Bonnie Stevens – KNAU Northern Arizona University

Analyzing the Gut Microbiome to Help Detect Colorectal Cancer – National Cancer Institute

The Human Microbiome: Biomedical Implications and Birth of a Market – Overview – Research and Markets

New tech keeps bacteria from sticking to surfaces – Krishna Ramanujan – R&D Magazine

Your Phone Contains Personal Contacts… And Lots of Bacteria – Jenna Iacurci – Nature World News

Science, publishing and career

By a former student in our lab: Protecting genetic privacy may be bad for your health – Akshay Maheshwari – SF Gate

A European postdoc for the family – Michelle Gabriele Sandrian – Science

Expectations of brilliance underlie gender distributions across academic disciplines – Sarah-Jane Leslie – Science

Bik’s Picks

What’s the Secret to Getting Kids to Eat Veggies? Let Them Play First! – Shannon Hall – Live Science

HiRISE camera spots long-lost space probe on Mars – Science Daily

Satire: Epidemiologists Warn of Emerging Deadly Pandemic of Selfie-sticks – The Allium



10 thoughts on “January 16, 2015

  1. As a newer reader and a member of the microbiome field, your blog is amazingly helpful. To be able to come to 1 place and find the relevant literature from an exploding field is super helpful to me. I also think there is something to be said for daily posts rather than MoBio’s weekly posts. As far as the content of MoBio’s blog, I think we need to wait and see. It seems like they are going to let anything and everything in…


  2. Personally, I like your rendition – it is clearer and to the point. Seems you cover a wider range of topics and break it down in a more orderly fashion, without the glam pics.
    Also, the Bik’s picks are always great!

    However, I understand this must be a sizable time sink for you, one that I appreciate!

    Thank you,


  3. Maybe they would like to hire you as an independent contractor to do their microbiome news anthology, since you may not continue otherwise.


  4. hope you continue – i really appreciate how you’ve pulled together so many different resources and cover microbes from the environment to insects and humans. It’s especially nice that you include both the peer-reviewed and lay articles. I’m slowly starting up a microbe blog and have been told by established bloggers that new bloggers often hit a plateau for a while. The way to overcome that is to have established bloggers feature your blog. On twitter – use hashtags to get new followers. use owly/bitly or even a cross-platform social media organizer like Hootsuite to shorten your urls so you can include more #. Hope you stick with it!


  5. It seems to me like your microbiome digest covers a more diverse set of topics and that there are more papers overall. The content on the MoBio site also seems to have a much higher ratio of “pop” articles to newly published papers than your blog. I don’t think I would follow the MoBio blog if yours stopped.

    I find your digest really helpful for finding interesting papers that might not be directly related to what I am studying and that I would not otherwise read. It really helps me become more knowledgable about microbiology in general. I hope you keep going!


  6. Bik’s Picks blog is so much better than MicrobiomeNews that it is even hard to compare them. I hope you will continue. You are making a great contribution to the field.


  7. Elisabeth I like your website better. I like your daily updates and how you organize and provide links to scientific peer reviewed journals. The other site does not seem to be updated as frequently and is more mainstream with pop culture articles. I found very little indepth scientific journal reporting. I do appreciate and understand your time limitations. Perhaps your digest could be incorporated as a tab on this News site where you can continue to provide and organize scholarly links to updated research. It would increase your visibility and increase the depth and credence of this News site. I too love your Bik’s picks. I look forward to reading your digest every day! Thank you for all that you are doing! Best!


  8. I really hope you continue doing this. I’ve found it very helpful to find articles I would not have come across otherwise. I also appreciate the simple layout with no pictures. And like someone else said, I appreciate the breadth you cover. Plus it doesn’t hurt that you posted one of my articles recently!


  9. I really appreciate your blog and had no idea MO BIO was doing one…so that says something about them having a limited audience problem too. I love your format and since being introduced to your blog through the GutCheck Coursera course, have come to depend on it. If the content of both blogs was the same, I would encourage you to bail, b/c time is so precious, but from the above comments, it doesn’t sound like MO BIO covers as many primary journal articles as your blog does. Hang on a bit more and I’ll definitely do my best to let peeps in my Twittersphere know what a great job you’re doing and that they should follow!


  10. Late to the comment game. I love your posts. They have been a really entertaining and useful resource as I learn more about the field.


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