Non-human microbiome digest, October 27, 2014

Microbiomes of camels, cheetahs, jackals, birds and reptiles, limpets, corals, plant roots, soils, and sea water.

Animal microbiome

* In-depth diversity analysis of the bacterial community resident in the camel rumen – Javad Gharechahi – Systematic and Applied Microbiology

“In this study, 16S rRNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing was applied in order to explore the structure of the bacterial community inhabiting the camel rumen.”

Oligotyping reveals differences between gut microbiomes of free-ranging sympatric Namibian carnivores (Acinonyx jubatus, Canis mesomelas) on a bacterial species-like level – Sebastian Menke – Frontiers in Microbiology

“Here, we used Illumina MiSeq to sequence amplicons generated from the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene to investigate the gut microbiome of two free-ranging sympatric Namibian carnivore species, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and the black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas).”

Diet is a major factor governing the fecal butyrate-producing community structure across Mammalia, Aves and Reptilia – Marius Vital – ISME Journal

“We investigated the butyrate-producing community in hindgut-fermenting Mammalia (n=38), Aves (n=8) and Reptilia (n=8) using a gene-targeted pyrosequencing approach of the terminal genes of the main butyrate-synthesis pathways”

Decadal changes in common reef coral populations and their associations with algal symbionts (Symbiodinium spp.) – Timothy R. McClanahan – Marine Ecology

“Decadal populations changes in four coral taxa and their patterns of association with algal symbionts (Symbiodinium spp. – 10 years of sampling) were examined on Kenyan back reefs over a period of climatic disturbances (1991−2009). “

Metaphylogenomic and Potential Functionality of the Limpet Patella pellucida’s Gastrointestinal Tract Microbiome – Magda Dudek – International Journal of Molecular Sciences

“This study investigated the microbial diversity associated with the digestive tract of the seaweed grazing marine limpet Patella pellucida.”

Plant microbiome

* Distinct root-associated bacterial communities on three wild plant species growing in a common field – Kristin Aleklett – PeerJ Preprints

“We sampled endophytic and epiphytic bacteria in root tissues from a population of a wild, clonal plant… as well as two neighboring plant species … to determine if plant species hosted unique root microbiota”

The fungal leaf endophyte Paraconiothyrium variabile specifically metabolizes the host-plant metabolome for its own benefit – Yuan Tian – Phytochemistry

“..we have investigated the action of the endophytic fungus Paraconiothyrium variabile, isolated from the leaves of Cephalotaxus harringtonia, on the secondary metabolome of the host-plant. “

Soil microbiome

Late winter under ice pelagic microbial communities in the high Arctic Ocean and the impact of short-term exposure to elevated CO2 levels – Adam Monier – Frontiers in Microbiology

“Phylogenetic diversity was greater in the attached fraction compared to the free-living fraction in situ, in the controls and in the treatments.”

The ecological dichotomy of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria in the hyper-arid soils of the Antarctic Dry Valleys – Catarina M. Magalhães – Frontiers in Microbiology

“Here we showed that AOB and AOA amoA gene diversity was generally low; only four AOA and three AOB operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified from a total of 420 AOA and AOB amoA clones.”

Soil bacterial community composition altered by increased nutrient availability in Arctic tundra soils – Akihiro Koyama – Frontiers in Microbiology

“Fertilization significantly altered overall bacterial community composition and reduced evenness, to a greater degree in organic than mineral soils, and in the 1989 compared to the 2006 site.”

Effect of volatile organic compounds absorbed to fresh biochar on survival of Bacillus mucilaginosus and structure of soil microbial communities – Daquan Sun – Journal of Soils and Sediments

“The structure of a soil microbial community incubated in biochar was examined via denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). “

Broad host range plasmids can invade an unexpectedly diverse fraction of a soil bacterial community – Uli Klümper – ISME Journal

“We identified transfer to many different recipients belonging to 11 different bacterial phyla. “

Water microbiome

Genomes and gene expression across light and productivity gradients in eastern subtropical Pacific microbial communities – Chris L Dupont – ISME Journal

“Relative to surface waters, bacterial SCM communities displayed greater genetic diversity and enrichment in putative sulfur oxidizers, multiple actinomycetes, low-light-adapted Prochlorococcus and cell-associated viruses.”

Aerobic methanotrophic communities at the Red Sea brine-seawater interface – Rehab Z. Abdallah – Frontiers in Microbiology

“The current study analyzed the aerobic free–living methane-oxidizing bacterial communities that potentially contribute to methane oxidation at the brine-seawater interfaces of the three aforementioned brine pools, using metagenomic pyrosequencing, 16S rRNA pyrotags and pmoA library constructs. “

Bacterial community structure is indicative of chemical inputs in the Upper Mississippi River – Christopher Staley – Frontiers in Microbiology

“Bacterial communities were characterized by Illumina sequencing of the V6 region of 16S rDNA and compared to >40 chemical and nutrient concentrations. “

Semiconductor Sequencing Reveals the Diversity of Bacterial Communities in an Amazonian Reservoir – Diego Assis das Graças – Aquatic Science and Technology

“In this study, we used a next-generation sequencing platform, the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine, and employed a barcode library to investigate the bacterial diversity along a 70-m deep water column in the proximity of the dam. “

Seasonal changes of microbial communities in two shallow peat bog lakes – Sylwia Lew – Folia Microbiologica

“We investigated the seasonal dynamics of the microbial community in two small peat bog lakes, Kuźnik Olsowy and Kuźnik Bagienny, located in western Poland.”

Bioreactor microbiome

Methane-fed microbial microcosms show differential community dynamics and pinpoint taxa involved in communal response – Igor Y Oshkin – ISME Journal

“We report observations on the dynamics of bacterial communities in response to methane stimulus in laboratory microcosm incubations prepared with lake sediment samples.”

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Microbiome Digest, October 23, 2014

Not much microbiome news today – which was good because I got time to watch the solar eclipse and a huge solar storm at the same time.  Enjoy the read!

Animal models of microbiome research

Lyn Deficiency Leads to Increased Microbiota-Dependent Intestinal Inflammation and Susceptibility to Enteric Pathogens – Morgan E. Roberts – Journal of Immunology

“Lyn2/2 mice exhibited profound cecal inflammation, bacterial dissemination, and morbidity following S. Typhimurium challenge and greater colonic inflammation throughout the course of C. rodentium infection.”

Rock microbiome

* Halophilic Archaea Cultivated from Surface Sterilized Middle-Late Eocene Rock Salt Are Polyploid – Salla T. Jaakkola – PLOS ONE

“We used real-time PCR to show that our isolates are polyploid, with genome copy numbers of 11–14 genomes per cell in exponential growth phase.”

More Microbiology

Zooming in to see the bigger picture: Microfluidic and nanofabrication tools to study bacteria – Felix J. H. Hol, Cees Dekker – Science

“Here, we review the new scientific insights gained by using a diverse set of nanofabrication and microfluidic techniques to study individual bacteria and multispecies communities.”

Review: Theory and Empiricism in Virulence Evolution – James J. Bull, Adam S. Lauring – PLOS Pathogens

“Our purpose here is to offer a brief introduction to virulence theory, explain some of its strengths and weaknesses, and suggest how theory might be united with empiric data”

Techniques

Comparing the new 16S rRNA V4 and ITS primers to the old primers-RESULTS! – Embriette Hyde – MicroBEnet

“The Knight lab has been working hard testing new primers for 16S rRNA amplicon production and its time to share our progress.”

Microbes in the News

As permafrost soils thaw, soil microbes amplify global climate change – Science Daily

“Now, research by an international team of scientists from the U.S., Sweden and Australia, led by University of Arizona scientists, shows that a single species of microbe, discovered only very recently, is an unexpected key player in climate change.”

* The Scientist: Prof. Esther Angert Studies Extreme Bacteria – Siddesh Ramesh – Cornell Sun

“While the majority of bacteria cannot be seen without a microscope, there exists a group of bacterial species that is visible to the naked eye. Known as Epulopiscium, they are “an extreme on the spectrum of diversity of bacterial life in existence,” according to Prof. Esther Angert, microbiology.”

Bik’s Picks

Flare Alert: Monster Sunspot Turns Toward Earth – Ian O’Neill – Discovery

“Amateur astronomers have been wowed by a vast sunspot that has rotated to face Earth, the largest since this solar cycle began in 2008, and solar observatories (on the ground and orbiting Earth) are closely monitoring the region.“

Watch cell division with new, remarkable resolution: Nobel winner Betzig strikes again – Tech Times

“Just weeks after sharing the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work involving high-resolution microscopes, a U.S. researcher has again stunned the scientific world with a new technique that peers deeply into living cells.

Ancient Europeans do not drink milk according to new study – BetaWired

“Almost everyone drinks milk today but a new study shows that ancient Europeans were not milk lovers back in the old days. According to a DNA analysis result, ancient Europeans are lactose intolerant.”

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Microbiome digest, October 16, 2014

Lung microbiome and pneumonia, bacterial vaginosis, microbiome and jetlag, cardiovascular consequences of gut dysbiosis, bacteria in locust guts and cropland in China, and how to earn some $$$ with your poop.

Human respiratory microbiome

Single-Molecule Long-Read 16S Sequencing To Characterize the Lung Microbiome from Mechanically Ventilated Patients with Suspected Pneumonia – Ian Toma – Journal of Clinical Microbiology

“The present study used NGS of essentially full-length PCR-amplified 16S ribosomal DNA from the bronchial aspirates of intubated patients with suspected pneumonia.”

Human vaginal microbiome

Recent progress in understanding the epidemiology of bacterial vaginosis – Kenyon, Chris R.; Osbak, Kara – Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology

“Bacterial vaginosis epidemiology has been transformed by new theoretical insights and methodologies, such as molecular sequencing. We summarize the progress made in these domains.”

Human gut microbiome

Transkingdom Control of Microbiota Diurnal Oscillations Promotes Metabolic Homeostasis – Christoph A. Thaiss – Cell

“Consequently, jet-lag-induced dysbiosis in both mice and humans promotes glucose intolerance and obesity that are transferrable to germ-free mice upon fecal transplantation.”

Far from the Eyes, Close to the Heart: Dysbiosis of Gut Microbiota and Cardiovascular Consequences – Matteo Serino – Current Cardiology Reports

“Here, we report evidence from the literature, as well as a few controversial reports, regarding the putative role of gut microbiota dysbiosis-induced cardiovascular diseases”

Insect microbiome

Cellulolytic activity and structure of symbiotic bacteria in locust guts – L-J Su – Genetics and Molecular Research

“The diversity of gut symbiotic bacteria was studied using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). “

Soil microbiome

Effects of Manure Compost Application on Soil Microbial Community Diversity and Soil Microenvironments in a Temperate Cropland in China – Zhen Zhen – PLOS ONE

“Denaturing gradient electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting analysis showed that the structure and composition of bacterial and fungi communities in the six fertilizer treatments varied at different levels. “

Water microbiome

Substratum-Associated Microbiota – Furey, Paula C.; Liess, Antonia – Water Environment Research

“In this review of the 2013 literature, advances in laboratory, field, and assessment methods are highlighted as are updates in taxonomy and systematics.”

More microbiology

Commensally sourced antibiotics – Cláudio Nunes-Alves – Nature Reviews Microbiology

Donia et al. have carried out the first systematic screen of biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) in the healthy human microbiota and found that BGCs for the thiopeptide class of antibiotics are widely distributed.”

First aid kit for cholera – Andrea Du Toit – Nature Reviews Microbiology

“In a new study, Gordon and colleagues examined the role of the human gut microbiota in V. cholerae infection and showed that one of its members, Ruminococcus obeum, decreases the expression of V. cholerae virulence factors to limit colonization.”

Microbes in the news

* A Poop Bank in Massachusetts Will Pay You $40 Every Day – Chelsea Rice – Boston.com

“All you have to do is visit OpenBiome, launched in 2012 as the only independent nonprofit stool bank in the country.”

Study reveals rats in NYC carry variety of infectious bacteria – Larry McShane – New York Daily News

“The first-of-its-kind study showed the rodents carrying an average of two bacteria capable of causing gastrointestinal problems for humans and the Seoul hantavirus, which causes a potentially life-threatening fever and kidney failure.”

* New Genes = New Archaea? – Molly Sharlach – The Scientist

“The study, published today (October 15) in Nature, also suggests that genetic transfers from bacteria to archaea are at least five times more common than from archaea to bacteria.”

Bik’s Picks

“Epicenters” of resilience – Mary Lou Zoback – Science

“The 25th anniversary of the magnitude (M) 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area on 17 October 1989 is a fitting time to examine what progress has been made in increasing community resilience to minimize seismic risk. “

Cells’ powerhouses were once energy parasites: Study upends current theories of how mitochondria began – Science Daily

“Parasitic bacteria were the first cousins of the mitochondria that power cells in animals and plants — and first acted as energy parasites in those cells before becoming beneficial, according to a new study”

How Did We Become a Society Suspicious of Science? – Keith M. Parsons – Huffington Post

“But something has been lost. Fifty years ago science was king. Science had respect; it was bigger than ideology. No longer. “

 

Biology Week: Bio-bodies Bake Off Public Vote – Physiological Society

“In the lead up to biology week we set you a challenge! We wanted you to celebrate the science of life by creating your own physiology bakes, and you didn’t let us down! ”

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Microbiome digest, October 15, 2014

A seminar this Friday with Pat Schloss, but without HMP girl, aspartame and gut microbiome in a rat model, bacteria in arsenic contaminated soil, and inter-kingdom horizontal gene transfer.

Human oral microbiome

General Immune Status and Oral Microbiology in Patients with Different Forms of Periodontitis and Healthy Control Subjects – Jana Schmidt – PLOS ONE

“Subgingival plaque samples were taken from each individual and immediately cultivated for microbiological examination.”

Pregnancy and birth

* The vaginal microbiome, vaginal anti-microbial defence mechanisms and the clinical challenge of reducing infection-related preterm birth – SS Witkin – BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology

“Ascending bacterial infection is implicated in about 40–50% of preterm births. “

Animal models of microbiome research

* Low-Dose Aspartame Consumption Differentially Affects Gut Microbiota-Host Metabolic Interactions in the Diet-Induced Obese Rat – Marie S. A. Palmnäs – PLOS ONE

“Serum metabolomics analysis revealed aspartame to be rapidly metabolized and to be associated with elevations in the short chain fatty acid propionate, a bacterial end product and highly gluconeogenic substrate, potentially explaining its negative affects on insulin tolerance. “

Effect of dietary supplementation with resveratrol on nutrient digestibility, methanogenesis and ruminal microbial flora in sheep – T. Ma – Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition

“Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of resveratrol on methanogenesis and microbial flora in Dorper × thin-tailed Han cross-bred ewes. “

Soil microbiome

Changing precipitation pattern alters soil microbial community response to wet-up under a Mediterranean-type climate – Romain L Barnard – ISME Journal

“Here, we investigated the effects of extending winter rainfall into the normally dry summer period on soil microbial response to a controlled rewetting event”

Surface binding and intracellular uptake of arsenic in bacteria isolated from arsenic contaminated site – Neha Vishnoi, Sonal Dixit, D.P. Singh – Ecological Engineering

“The present study deals with the surface binding and uptake of arsenic (As) in two bacterial strains (Bacillus subtilis and Paenibacillus macerans) isolated from the As contaminated soil.”

Water microbiome

Effects of ecological engineered oxygenation on the bacterial community structure in an anoxic fjord in western Sweden – Michael Forth – ISME Journal

“We used molecular ecologic methods to study changes in bacterial community structure in response to the oxygenation in the Byfjord. “

Food microbiology

Assessment of the bacterial and fungal diversity in home-made yoghurts of Xinjiang, China by pyrosequencing – Haiyan Xu – Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture

“The bacterial and fungal community diversity in 22 home-made yoghurt samples was analyzed by pyrosequencing. “

CRISPRs, phages, viruses

In Hopes Of Fixing Faulty Genes, One Scientist Starts With The Basics – Joe Palca – NPR Morning Edition

“That’s certainly true for Jennifer Doudna. She hasn’t won a Nobel Prize, but many are whispering that she’s in line to win one for her work on something called CRISPR/Cas9 — a tool for editing genes.”

Bioinformatics and metagenomics

* Inter-phylum HGT has shaped the metabolism of many mesophilic and anaerobic bacteria – Alejandro Caro-Quintero and Konstantinos T Konstantinidis – ISME Journal

“Here, we devised a novel bioinformatic pipeline, which minimized the effect of over-representation of specific taxa in the available databases and other limitations of homology-based approaches by analyzing genomes in standardized triplets, to quantify gene exchange between bacterial genomes representing different phyla. “

* Origins of major archaeal clades correspond to gene acquisitions from bacteria
Shijulal Nelson-Sathi – Nature

“To investigate the origin of higher taxa in archaea, we have determined gene distributions and gene phylogenies for the 267,568 protein-coding genes of 134 sequenced archaeal genomes in the context of their homologues from 1,847 reference bacterial genomes.”

Evidence of Carbon Fixation Pathway in a Bacterium from Candidate Phylum SBR1093 Revealed with Genomic Analysis – Zhiping Wang – PLOS ONE

“A phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene reveals that the phylotypes within candidate phylum SBR1093 are primarily clustered into 5 clades with a shallow branching pattern. “

Metagenomic Approach Reveals Variation of Microbes with Arsenic and Antimony Metabolism Genes from Highly Contaminated Soil – Jinming Luo – PLOS ONE

“Metagenomic analysis revealed that microbes from 18 phyla were present in the 5 samples of soil contaminated with high As and Sb.”

More microbiology

* The Phylogeny of Everything, the Origin of Eukaryotes, and the Rules of Taxonomy: Death to Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya! Long live Archaebacteria, Eubacteria, Eukaryota, and Prokaryota! – Judge Starling

“The molecular revelation based on orthologous ribosomal RNA sequences that prokaryotes are separable into two basic taxa—archaebacteria and eubacteria, and that these two taxa are approximately equidistant from eukaryotes, prompted Woese et al. (1990) to come up with a tripartite taxonomy of all life forms.”

Adhesion as a weapon in microbial competition – Jonas Schluter – ISME Journal

“We test the predictions of our model using the enteric pathogen Vibrio cholerae, which produces an extracellular matrix important for biofilm formation. “

Microbes in the news:

* Google Hangout on Friday: MicroSeminar: A new way of doing conferences – Pat Schloss

“You will not see HMP Girl, no quotes of specious statistics, no mention of obscure disease, and no venturing into the weeds of bioinformatics. I will be describing unpublished experiments from the lab where we have taken various sources of microorganisms and used them to colonize mice that lack their own microbiota.”

‘Grapes of Wrath’: Stomping out grape disease one vineyard at a time – Phys.org

“A Rochester Institute of Technology scientist and an RIT alumnus are close to completing the genetic blueprint, or microbiome, of grape crown gall tumor disease—the bane of vineyards worldwide. ”

Redefining Human: The Microbiome Documentary Series – Root House Studio – Kickstarter

“We know science documentaries can be painfully boring, so Redefining Human will use a variety of new techniques to turn this complex science into an informative and entertaining documentary series.”

What’s in my microbiome? – Richard Sprague

“To find out what’s in my microbiome now, I bought a $400 kit from the San Francisco company uBiome. “

Science, publishing and career

* Rise of the Rest: The Growing Impact of Non-Elite Journals – Anurag Acharya – Google / Arxiv

“Our analysis indicates that the number of top-1000 papers published in non-elite journals for the representative subject category went from 149 in 1995 to 245 in 2013, a growth of 64%.”

Review rewards – Welcome efforts are being made to recognize academics who give up their time to peer review – Nature Editorial

“A welcome movement is under way to publicly register and recognize the hitherto invisible efforts of referees.”

Overqualified or underqualified? – Carrie Arnold – Science

“As unemployment stretched from weeks into months, Milstein decided that her Ph.D. was working against her. “

 

Satire: Facebook Offers To Freeze Female Employee’s Newborn Children – The Onion

“Women deserve to have the option to postpone motherhood until they feel fully prepared, which is why Facebook will also cover the cryonic facility’s annual maintenance costs for as many years as our employees feel they need. “

Bik’s Picks

360-Degree View of the Tomato – Anna Azvolinsky – The Scientist

“Researchers have sequenced 360 varieties of the tomato plant to create a comprehensive map of the evolution of the fruit from its wild form to the modern varieties. “

Extinct giant kangaroos didn’t hop, they walked – Andy Coghlan – New Scientist

“They had faces like rabbits and some were 2 metres tall. But now it seems that an extinct giant kangaroo didn’t hop – it walked.“

 

Chimpanzees have favorite ‘tool set’ for hunting staple food of army ants – Science Daily

“New research shows that chimpanzees search for the right tools from a key plant species when preparing to ‘ant dip’ — a crafty technique enabling them to feast on army ants without getting bitten. “

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Microbiome Digest, October 9, 2014

Human microbiome general

Advancing the Microbiome Research Community – Curtis Huttenhower – Cell

“We outline opportunities in interdisciplinary research, analytical rigor, standardization, and policy development for this relatively new and rapidly developing field. “

Human oral microbiome

Bioinformatic investigation of the cost management strategies of five oral microbes – K.J. Cross – Molecular Oral Microbiology

“The aim of this study was to investigate if five oral bacterial species implement cost management strategies to reduce the energy burden of extracellular unrecyclable proteins.”

Human skin microbiome

Identification of molecular mechanisms used by Finegoldia magna to penetrate and colonize human skin – Elizabeth C. Murphy – Molecular Microbiology

“This study examines the molecular mechanisms F. magna uses when colonizing or establishing an infection in the skin. “

Human gut microbiome

Bacterial ClpB heat-shock protein, an antigen-mimetic of the anorexigenic peptide α-MSH, at the origin of eating disorders – N Tennoune – Translational Psychiatry

“Here, using proteomics, we identified ClpB heat-shock disaggregation chaperone protein of commensal gut bacteria Escherichia coli as a conformational antigen mimetic of α-MSH.”

Animal models of microbiome research

Effects of essential oil supplementation of a low-energy diet on performance, intestinal morphology and microflora, immune properties and antioxidant activities in weaned pigs – Zhikai Zeng – Animal Science Journal

Soil microbiome

Poster presentation: Starting study of microbial genetics diversity in soils of mangrove preserved in sergipe – Karla Cristina Santos Freire – BMC Proceedings

“This paper proposes the characterization and evaluation of structures and diversity of microbial communities in the soil of mangroves in three conservation areas located in Sergipe.“

Community assembly of ectomycorrhizal fungi along a subtropical secondary forest succession – Cheng Gao – New Phytologist

“We examined the communities of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi in young, intermediate and old forests in a Chinese subtropical ecosystem, using 454 pyrosequencing”

Metagenomics / Bioinformatics

Functional phylogenomics analysis of bacteria and archaea using consistent genome annotation with UniFam – Juanjuan Chai – BMC Evolutionary Biology

“A total of 14,727 GenBank prokaryotic genomes were re-annotated using a new protein family database, UniFam, to obtain consistent functional annotations for accurate comparison. “

More Microbiology

Halting harmful helminths – Karl F. Hoffmann, Paul J. Brindley, Matthew Berriman – Science

“More than 300 million people are infected each year with parasitic flatworms such as hydatid tapeworms and blood fluke schistosomes. “

Chromosome position effects on gene expression in Escherichia coli K-12 – Jack A. Bryant – Nucleic Acids Research

“Here, using Escherichia coli K-12, we demonstrate that expression of a reporter gene cassette, comprised of the model E. coli lac promoter driving expression of gfp, varies by ∼300-fold depending on its precise position on the chromosome. “

Microbes in the news

‘Good Poop’ Diet Is the Next Big Thing – Daniela Drake – The Daily Beast

“Now a new book, The Skinny Gut Diet, by nutritionist Brenda Watson, tracks the progress of people who follow a diet specifically designed to alter the gut microbiome. “

Another probiotic advantage: Bacteria protects against heavy metal poisoning – Jim Algar – Tech Times

“Probiotic bacteria found in yogurt can protect people from the effects of exposure to heavy metals, particularly in pregnant women and children, a Canadian study suggests.”

Science, publishing, career

The scientists who get credit for peer review – Richard Van Noorden – Nature

“Publons rewards researchers for putting their peer-review activity online. Nature spoke to the startup’s co-founder and two super-users.”

Meet the New Underclass: People With Ph.D.s in Science – Mark Strauss – iO9

“Once upon a time, newly-minted science Ph.D.s would get research jobs at a senior scientist’s laboratory, to train and hone the ideas they would explore at their own labs. But now the supply of post-doctoral students is outpacing demand, creating a new, hyper-educated underclass.”

Glut of postdoc researchers stirs quiet crisis in science –  Carolyn Y. Johnson – Boston Globe

Japan’s Missing Female Scientists – Jack Grove – Times Higher Education

“Too many female scientists are leaving Japan because they do not feel they can get ahead in its “male-dominated” society, a senior university leader has said.”

Bik’s Picks

Cave paintings change ideas about the origin of art – Pallab Ghosh – BBC

“Researchers tell the journal Nature that the Indonesian discovery transforms ideas about how humans first developed the ability to produce art.”

A timeline of a baby’s first hour – Laura Sanders – Science News

Fired science teacher did not have state license – 9 News

“The teacher fired after his science experiment injured four students, one seriously, did not have a valid Colorado teacher’s license.”

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Microbiome digest, October 8, 2014

Blogging from our yearly retreat in Santa Cruz, California: Rethinking Enterotypes, Wolbachia phylogenomics,  hydrothermal vents, and the influence of salamanders on soil microbiome.

Human Microbiome General

Genes & cells: Body microbes make useful molecules: Human microbiome produces thousands of drug candidates – Tina Hesman Saey – Science News

Human Gut Microbiome

Rethinking “Enterotypes” – Dan Knights – Cell Host and Microbe

“However, as discussed here, several different methods of collapsing enterotype variation into a few discrete clusters suggest that enterotype distribution is continuous and can vary widely within an individual.”

Fecal Bacterial Community Changes Associated with Isoflavone Metabolites in Postmenopausal Women after Soy Bar Consumption – Cindy H. Nakatsu – PLOS ONE

“Using DGGE profiles of PCR amplified 16S rRNA genes (V3 region) to compare microbial communities in fecal samples collected one week before and one week during soy supplementation revealed significant differences (ANOSIM p<0.03) before and after soy supplementation in all subjects. “

Insect microbiome

Phylogenomic analyses uncover origin and spread of the Wolbachia pandemic – Michael Gerth  – Nature Communications

“Here we present the first comprehensive phylogenomic analysis of Wolbachia supergroup relationships based on new whole-genome-shotgun data.”

Coral microbiome

Comparing Bacterial Community Composition of Healthy and Dark Spot-Affected Siderastrea siderea in Florida and the Caribbean – Christina A. Kellogg – PLOS ONE

“Microbial-community DNA was extracted from coral samples (mucus, tissue, and skeleton), amplified using bacterial-specific primers, and applied to PhyloChip G3 microarrays to examine the bacterial diversity associated with this coral. “

Soil Microbiome

Summer temperature increase has distinct effects on the ectomycorrhizal fungal communities of moist tussock and dry tundra in Arctic Alaska – Luis N. Morgado – Global Change Biology

“We used Ion Torrent sequencing of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region to compare ECM fungal communities in plots with and without long-term experimental warming in both dry and moist tussock tundra.”

A metagenomics-based approach to the top-down effect on the detritivore food web: a salamanders influence on fungal communities within a deciduous forest – Donald M. Walker – Ecology and Evolution

“From each sample, DNA was extracted, fungal-specific amplification performed, and 454 pyrosequencing was used to sequence the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) region and partial ribosomal large subunit (LSU).”

Water microbiome

Evolutionary Strategies of Viruses, Bacteria and Archaea in Hydrothermal Vent Ecosystems Revealed through Metagenomics – Rika E Anderson – PLOS ONE

“Here, we explore the evolutionary strategies of both microorganisms and viruses in hydrothermal systems through comparative analysis of a cellular and viral metagenome, “

Metabolomics

Discovery and Characterization of Gut Microbiota Decarboxylases that Can Produce the Neurotransmitter Tryptamine – Brianna B. Williams – -Cell Host and Microbe

“Using a combination of genetics, biochemistry, and crystallography, we identify and characterize two phylogenetically distinct enzymes found in the human microbiome that decarboxylate tryptophan to form the β-arylamine neurotransmitter

Techniques

Selective Microbial Genomic DNA Isolation Using Restriction Endonucleases – Helen E. Barnes – PLOS ONE

“Using synthetic genome mixtures, we demonstrate 80% recovery of Escherichia coli genomic DNA even when only femtogram quantities are spiked into 10 µg of human DNA background.”

 More Microbiology

Pseudomonas aeruginosa eradicates Staphylococcus aureus by manipulating the host immunity – Erwan Pernet – Nature Communications

“Our results indicate that a bacterium can eradicate another bacterium by manipulating the host immunity.”

Preparation and evaluation of low-calorie functional ice cream containing inulin, lactulose and Bifidobacterium lactis  – Majid Hashemi- International Journal of Dairy Technology

“This study was aimed to investigate the effects of replacing 5% fat and sugar by inulin and lactulose, respectively, on the survival of Bifidobacterium lactis and physicochemical and sensorial characteristics of the ice cream. “

Microbes in the News

Second Genome, Mayo Clinic team up to explore the microbiome – Stephanie M. Lee – SF Gate

“Second Genome will identify up to eight conditions in which the microbiome potentially plays a role, and the Mayo Clinic will provide human clinical samples for patients with those diseases.”

 Oral health affects overall health – PhillyTrib

“The evidence shows that an infection from periodontitis, or gum disease, can put you at risk for other serious conditions like heart disease, stroke and more.”

Safety Bees: Bacteria From Bees Used To Fight Infections – The Ledger

 “A group of 13 lactic-acid bacteria found in fresh honey from the honey stomach of bees could be the key to bringing an old folk remedy into modern science”

Bik’s Picks  

How dinosaurs divided their meals at the Jurassic dinner table – Science Daily

“How the largest animals to have ever walked on Earth fed, and how this allowed them to live alongside one another in prehistoric ecosystems, is the subject of new research.”

Imitation, Genetic Lineages, and Time Influenced the Morphological Evolution of the Violin – Daniel H. Chitwood – PLOS ONE

“Here, I provide an analysis of morphological evolution in the violin family, sampling the body shapes of over 9,000 instruments over 400 years of history.”

Cat Watch 2014: What’s it like being a cat? – BBC

“Cats are at a crucial point in their evolutionary journey as they transform from solitary hunters to domestic pets, a study by the BBC and the Royal Veterinary College has revealed.”
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General microbiology and science digest, October 7, 2014

Transmission of Staph aureus in the hospital, a new assembler tool, metabolomics of the human gut microbiome, and a polio virus spill in Belgium.

More Microbes

Absence of Patient-to-Patient Intrahospital Transmission of Staphylococcus aureus as Determined by Whole-Genome Sequencing – S. Wesley Long – mBio

“To identify patient-to-patient intrahospital transmission using high-resolution genetic analysis, we sequenced the genomes of a consecutive set of 398 S. aureus isolates from sterile-site infections. “

Bioinformatics

Improved Assemblies Using a Source-Agnostic Pipeline for MetaGenomic Assembly by Merging (MeGAMerge) of Contigs – Matthew Scholz, Chien-Chi Lo & Patrick S. G. Chain – Nature Scientific Reports

“MeGAMerge consistently outperforms individual assembly methods, producing larger contigs with an increased number of predicted genes, without replication of data. “

Inferring phylogenies of evolving sequences without multiple sequence alignment – Cheong Xin Chan – Nature Scientific Reports

“Here, using simulated sequence sets of various sizes in both nucleotides and amino acids, we systematically assess the accuracy of phylogenetic inference using an alignment-free approach, based on D2 statistics, under different evolutionary scenarios. “

Gut Check: Exploring Your Microbiome – Coursera / University of Colorado Boulder

“Join us on a guided tour of the human gut and its microscopic inhabitants.”

Metabolomics

Modelling the emergent dynamics and major metabolites of the human colonic microbiota – Helen Kettle – Environmental Microbiology

“To reduce the complexity of the system, we divide the bacterial community into 10 bacterial functional groups (BFGs) each distinguished by its substrate preferences, metabolic pathways and its preferred pH range. “

Microbes in the news

* Petri Dish: The third branch of life – David Woodland – Summit Daily

“In addition to being an interesting branch on the tree of life, archaebacteria have turned out to be an incredibly valuable source of new products for science and industry. “

Pharmaceutical Giant GlaxoSmithKline “Accidentally” Released 45 Liters of Concentrated Live Polio Virus in the Environment – Global Research

“As reported to ECDC by Belgian authorities, on 2 September 2014, following a human error, 45 litres of concentrated live polio virus solution were released into the environment by the pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), in Rixensart city, Belgium.”

Science, publishing and career

* Science is innate! (behind a paywall, even at Stanford) – Jack A Gilbert – Genome Biology

“….when I am asked, as I often am, about how my research findings have influenced my day-to-day activities, I like to take a step back and think about what it means to be a scientist.”

Why I have taken a leave of absence from Science: to protest the abrupt firing of 4 colleagues – Michael Balter – Letter to Science

“Thus it is particularly painful and sad for me to tell you that I will be taking a three-month leave of absence in protest of recent events at Science and within its publishing organization, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Bik’s Picks

Killer whales learn to communicate like dolphins – Science Daily

“…killer whales can engage in cross-species vocal learning: when socialized with bottlenose dolphins, they shifted the sounds they made to more closely match their social partners.”

NASA selects astrobiologists to study life origins and extraterrestrial possibilities – Jim Algar – Tech Times

“NASA announced 5-year grants adding up to nearly $50 million for seven research groups across the U .S. to study life in the universe and its origins, distribution, evolution and future.”

The most passive aggressive acknowledgement ever – BioDataGanache – SciEasterEggs

“The authors in this paper put some serious time in on this sucker, and they wanted to make a statement about it.”

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Non-human microbiome digest, October 2, 2014

Microbiomes of mares with colic, corals and ascidians, bacteria in plant seeds, ciprofloxacin in compost, and yeast in Turkish sausages.

Mammal microbiome

Diversity and Community Composition of Methanogenic Archaea in the Rumen of Scottish Upland Sheep Assessed by Different Methods – Timothy J. Snelling – PLOS ONE

“Sequences mapping to rumen 16S rRNA and mcrA gene references were extracted from Illumina metagenome data.“

* Temporal changes and the effect of subtherapeutic concentrations of antibiotics in the gut microbiota of swine – Devin B. Holman – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

“In this study, the effect of two antibiotics on the swine gut microbiota over a 19-week monitoring period was investigated using Illumina-based sequencing. “

Changes in the faecal microbiota of mares precede the development of postpartum colic
J. S. Weese – Equine Veterinary Journal

“Next generation sequencing of the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene was performed on samples from 13 mares that developed colic, 13 mares that did not display colic, and 5 non-pregnant controls.”

Bird microbiome

Correlations between changes in intestinal microbiota composition and performance parameters in broiler chickens – L. A. Rubio – Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition

“The composition of the intestinal microbiota was analysed by qPCR at different points of the intestinal tract, and a number of nutritional parameters were also determined.”

Insect microbiomes

Differential Genome Evolution Between Companion Symbionts in an Insect-Bacterial Symbiosis – Gordon M. Bennett – mBio

“To understand how symbiont genome degeneration proceeds, we compared the genomes of symbionts in two leafhopper species”

Metagenome-Wide Association of Microbial Determinants of Host Phenotype in Drosophila melanogaster – John M. Chaston – mBio

“.. we measured two microbiota-responsive host traits, development time and triglyceride (TAG) content, in Drosophila melanogaster flies monoassociated with each of 41 bacterial strains.”

Invertebrate microbiome

Quorum Sensing Signal Production and Microbial Interactions in a Polymicrobial Disease of Corals and the Coral Surface Mucopolysaccharide Layer – Beth L. Zimmer – PLOS ONE

“These findings demonstrate for the first time that AHLs are present in an active coral disease.”

The secret to a successful relationship: lasting chemistry between ascidians and their symbiotic bacteria – Eric W. Schmidt – Invertebrate Biology

Plant microbiome

Plants prepackage beneficial microbes in their seeds – Phys.org

“The researchers, from the University of Notre Dame, presented their findings today at the 5th ASM Conference on Beneficial Microbes.”

Cave microbiome

* Mycobiome of the Bat White Nose Syndrome Affected Caves and Mines Reveals Diversity of Fungi and Local Adaptation by the Fungal Pathogen Pseudogymnoascus (Geomyces) destructans – Tao Zhang – PLOS ONE

“This study was conducted in 2010–2011 in New York and Vermont using 90 samples from four mines and two caves situated within the epicenter of WNS. “

Soil and sediment microbiome

Differential distribution and abundance of diazotrophic bacterial communities across different soil niches using a gene-targeted clone library approach – Basit Yousuf – FEMS Microbiology Letters

“Differential occurrence of diazotrophs was studied by the nifH gene-targeted clone library approach.”

Spatiotemporal Analysis of Bacterial Diversity in Sediments of Sundarbans Using Parallel 16S rRNA Gene Tag Sequencing – Pijush Basak – Microbial Ecology

“The total sediment DNA was extracted and subjected to the 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing, which resulted in 117 Mbp of data from three experimental stations. “

Ciprofloxacin residues in municipal biosolids compost do not selectively enrich populations of resistant bacteria – Caitlin P. Youngquist – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

“Regression analysis showed that growth of the susceptible strain of E. coli can be reduced given a sufficiently high concentration of ciprofloxacin (P<0.007), a result that is consistent with adsorption being the primary mechanism of sequestration. “

Biogeographic patterns in below-ground diversity in New York City’s Central Park are similar to those observed globally – Kelly S. Ramirez – Proceedings of the Royal Society B

“Here, we present an assessment of soil biodiversity and biogeographic patterns across Central Park in New York City that spanned all three domains of life, demonstrating that even an urban, managed system harbours large amounts of undescribed soil biodiversity.”

Water microbiome

Abundance and Dynamics of Antibiotic Resistance Genes and Integrons in Lake Sediment Microcosms – Björn Berglund – PLOS ONE

“Resistance genes sulI and ermB were quantified in the microcosm sediments with mean abundances 5 and 15 gene copies/106 16S rRNA gene copies, respectively. “

Microbial composition of the activated sludge of Moscow wastewater treatment plants
A. Yu. Kallistova – Microbiology

“FISH investigation revealed that aerobic sludge were eubacterial communities; the metabolically active archaea contributed insignificantly.”

Phytoplankton, bacterioplankton and virioplankton structure and function across the southern Great Barrier Reef shelf – Daniel M. Alongi – Journal of Marine Systems

“Phytoplankton, bacteria and virus dynamics are driven by across-shelf changes in water chemistry and hydrography.”

Food microbiology

Pulque production from fermented agave sap as a dietary supplement in Prehispanic Mesoamerica – Marisol Correa-Ascencio – PNAS

“A novel bacterial lipid biomarker approach is reported, which provides a new means of documenting the consumption of bacterially fermented alcoholic beverages in antiquity worldwide.”

Biodiversity of Yeast Mycobiota in “Sucuk,” a Traditional Turkish Fermented Dry Sausage: Phenotypic and Genotypic Identification, Functional and Technological Properties – Ismet Ozturk, and Osman Sagdic – Journal of Food Science

“The yeast isolates were determined as genotypic using 2 different polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods (rep-PCR and RAPD-PCR).”

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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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Microbiome digest, August 28, 2014

Cool new study today by Jack Gilbert on the bacteria living in our homes, what happens to you microbiome after you die, (gut) microbiome and respiratory diseases, lots of water studies, and Bik’s Picks.

General  human microbiome 

* Your death microbiome could catch your killer – Anna Williams – NewScientist

“These “friendly” bacteria adhere to the lining of the gut and keep the microbial villains at bay by outcompeting them. After we die, however, our gut flora have a party.“

Human respiratory microbiome

The Microbiome and the Lung – Lijia Cui – Annals of the American Thoracic Society

“In this review, we provide an overview of the basics of microbiome studies.”

Microbiome Diversity and Asthma and Allergy Risk – Antje Legatzki – Current Allergy and Asthma Reports

“In this review, we will discuss the available literature concerning the human microbiota and asthma and allergy development and occurrence. “

Gut microbiome

You waited for it: The journal Helicobacter has a Helicobacter special!
Gastric and Enterohepatic Helicobacters other than Helicobacter pylori
Armelle Ménard – Helicobacter

“Several studies highlighted the virulence of non-H. pylori species including H. cinaedi in humans and hyperlipidemic mice or H. macacae in geriatric rhesus monkeys with intestinal adenocarcinoma. “

Pregnancy and birth

Systemic Inflammation in the Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborn Following Maternal Genitourinary Infections – Raina N. Fichorova – American Journal of Reproductive Immunology

“Mothers of 914 infants born before 28th gestation week reported cervical/vaginal infection (CVI), and/or urine/bladder/kidney infection (UTI), or neither. Inflammation proteins measured in baby’s blood”

Animal models of microbiome research

Intestinal Microbial Variation May Predict Early Acute Rejection after Liver Transplantation in Rats – Ren, Zhigang – Transplantation

“cluster analysis of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles showed the 7AR and 3AR groups clustered together with 73.4% similarity, suggesting that intestinal microbiota was more sensitive than hepatic function in responding to AR.”

Microbiology of the built environment

* Longitudinal analysis of microbial interaction between humans and the indoor environment – Simon Lax – Science

“Microbial communities associated with seven families and their homes over 6 weeks were assessed, including three families that moved their home. “

* Sloan Microbiology of the Built Environment Data Analysis Workshop (secrets of QIIME, VAMPS and QIITA) January 6-7, 2015 – Jonathan Eisen – MicroBEnet

“to learn hands-on how to use these tools on their own data, to perform meta-analyses that combine built environment datasets“

Water microbiome

Microbial weeds in hypersaline habitats: the enigma of the weed-like Haloferax mediterranei – Aharon Oren and John E. Hallsworth – FEMS Microbiology Letters

“Here, we discuss the enigma of the less abundant Haloferax mediterranei, an archaeon that grows faster than any other, comparable extreme halophile.”

Bacterial profiling in brine samples of the Emalahleni Water Reclamation Plant, South Africa, using 454-pyrosequencing method – Sudharshan Sekar – FEMS Microbiology Letters

“A metagenomic approach was applied using 454-pyrosequencing data analysis for the profiling of bacterial communities in the brine samples of the water reclamation plant. “

The role of dispersal mode and habitat specialisation in metacommunity structuring of aquatic macroinvertebrates in isolated spring fens – Vanda Rádková – Freshwater Biology

“We applied two species categorisations, common/rare and generalists/specialists, to disentangle the roles of dispersal capacity and habitat specialisation.”

Shifts in archaeaplankton community structure along ecological gradients of Pearl Estuary – Jiwen Liu – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

“Using 454 pyrosequencing, the present study examined the archaeal communities along a subtropical estuary, Pearl Estuary, China. “

Soil microbiome

The Effects of Radiation Pollution on the Population Diversities and Metabolic Characteristics of Soil Microorganisms – Meiying Gu – Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

“Microbial diversities were determined by using methods of cultured isolates and carbon source utilization on Biolog EcoPlate™. “

Bik’s Picks

A chocolate habit in ancient North America – Michael Bawaya – Science

“the findings suggest regular trade in cacao—and movements of the people who imbued it with significance—between ancient Mesoamericans and their northern neighbors, says Dorothy Washburn, an archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology “

Babies may be good at remembering, and forgetting – Laura Sanders – Science News

“over 20 percent of 5-year-olds and 8- to 9-year olds recounted events from their first year, some from the very first months of life.”

How the zebrafish gets its stripes: Uncovering how beautiful color patterns can develop in animals – Science Daily

Three major pigment cell types, black cells, reflective silvery cells, and yellow cells emerge during growth in the skin of the tiny juvenile fish and arrange as a multi-layered mosaic to compose the characteristic color pattern. “

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