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 13, 2014

Preterm infant gut microbiome, fecal transplants, microbes in space, and microbiome of 8 different fish species.

Pregnancy and birth

* Development of the preterm infant gut microbiome: a research priority – Maureen W Groer (Jack Gilbert lab) – Microbiome

“This review provides a synthesis of our understanding of the normal development of the infant gut microbiome and contrasts this with dysbiotic development in the VLBW infant.”

Fluorescence in situ hybridization for identification of microorganisms in acute chorioamnionitis – D. Schmiedel – Clinical Microbiology and Infection

“Using a diagnostic fluorescence in situ hybridization probe panel, we visualized Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus mitis group in two cases of acute chorioamnionitis. “

The Role of Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma in Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes – Amy P. Murtha – Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America

* Impact Of Lifestyle On The Gut Microbiota Of Healthy Infants And Their Mothers – The Aladdin Birth Cohort – Helena Marell Hesla – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

“Samples collected from infants at ages six days, three weeks, two months and six months and from their mothers before and after delivery, respectively, were analyzed using 454-pyrosequencing.”

Human gut microbiome

* Oral, Capsulized, Frozen Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Relapsing Clostridium difficile Infection – Ilan Youngster – JAMA

“Self-ranked health scores improved significantly on a scale of 1 to 10 from a median of 5  for overall health and 4.5  for gastrointestinal-specific health on the day prior to FMT to 8 after FMT administration for both overall and gastrointestinal health (P = .001).”

* Impact of Experimental Hookworm Infection on the Human Gut Microbiota – Cinzia Cantacessi – Journal of Infectious Diseases

“We used 16S rRNA gene amplification and pyrosequencing to characterize, for the first time to our knowledge, the differences in composition and relative abundance of fecal microbial communities in human subjects prior to and following experimental infection with the blood-feeding intestinal hookworm, Necator americanus. “

Genomics of schizophrenia: time to consider the gut microbiome? – T G Dinan – Molecular Psychiatry

“To date, this vast quantity of DNA has been largely ignored in schizophrenia research.”

Animal microbiome

Comparative study on gastrointestinal microbiota of eight fish species with different feeding habits – Jinjin Li – Journal of Applied Microbiology

“The V1 to V3 regions of 16S rRNA gene were analyzed by highthroughput sequencing (454 platform) to compare the gut microbiota of different fish species. “

Dining local: the microbial diet of a snail that grazes microbial communities is geographically structured – Richard O’Rorke – Environmental Microbiology

“we collected 102 snail fecal samples as a proxy for diet, and 102 matched-leaf samples from four locations. We used Illumina amplicon sequencing to determine bacterial and fungal community composition. “

Bacterial associates of seed-parasitic wasps (Hymenoptera: Megastigmus) – Amber R Paulson – BMC Microbiology

“We characterized the bacterial symbionts of Megastigmus (Hymenoptera: Torymidae), a lineage of seed-parasitic chalcid wasps, with the goal of identifying microbes that might play an important role in aiding development within seeds, including supplementing insect nutrition or manipulating host trees.“

Bioreactor microbiome

Biofouling and Microbial Communities in Membrane Distillation and Reverse Osmosis – Katherine R. Zodrow – Environmental Science & Technology

“Phylogenetic analysis using next-generation sequencing of 16S ribosomal DNA showed significant shifts in the microbial communities. “

Integrated ‘omics analysis for studying the microbial community response to a pH perturbation of a cellulose-degrading bioreactor culture – Amy A Boaro – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

“16S rDNA pyrosequencing results revealed increased alpha diversity in the microbial community after the perturbation, and a persistence of the dominant community members over the duration of the experiment.”

Environmental microbiome

Effects of Bioavailable Heavy Metal Species, Arsenic, and Acid Drainage from Mine Tailings on a Microbial Community Sampled Along a Pollution Gradient in a Freshwater Ecosystem – Togwell A. Jackson – Geomicrobiology Journal

“Ribosomal ribonucleic acid, fatty acid, and phospholipid analyses, along with assays of CO2 production, denitrification, and enzyme activities, were performed to characterise the microflora; and environmental conditions were defined by various physicochemical analyses, including determination of bioavailable metal species. “

The role of macrobiota in structuring microbial communities along rocky shores – Catherine A Pfister​, Jack A Gilbert, Sean M Gibbons – PeerJ

“At two coastal locations in the northeast Pacific Ocean, we show that microbial composition was significantly different between inert surfaces, the biogenic surfaces that included rocky shore animals and an alga, and the water column plankton.”

Microbes in (simulated) space

The development and succession of microbial communities in 90-day Bioregenerative Life Support Experiment in the Lunar Palace 1 – Yi Sun – 40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly

“In this study, the development and succession of the microbial communities of air, water system, plant system, and key facilities surfaces in Lunar Palace 1 were continuously monitored and analyzed by using plate counting method and molecular biological method during the 90-day experiment.”

The viability of native microbial communities in martian environment (model) – Vorobyova, Elena – 40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly

“It was shown that in simulated conditions close to the parameters of the Martian regolith, the diversity of natural bacterial communities was not decreased, and in some cases the activation of some bacterial populations occurred in situ.”

Food microbiology

Microbial succession and the functional potential during the fermentation of Chinese soy sauce brine – Joanita Sulaiman – Frontiers in Microbiology

“Whole genome shotgun (WGS) method revealed that the fermentation brine was dominated by the bacterial genus Weissella and later dominated by the fungal genus Candida.”

Transcriptomics/metagenomics

Adaptation to environmental factors shapes the organization of regulatory regions in microbial communities – Leyden Fernandez – BMC Genomics

“We have here characterized and analyzed the metaregulome of three different environments, as well as their impact in the adaptation to particular variable physico-chemical conditions. “

Other microbiology

Inverse Correlation Between Helicobacter pylori Colonization and Obesity in a Cohort of Inner City Children – Hanh D. Vo – Helicobacter

“Our findings in a North American cohort are in agreement with studies from Asia and Europe suggesting that H. pylori infection decreases the prevalence of obesity in children.”

Microbes in the news

* Podcast: Your Home, Your Bacteria – Science Friday

“Jack Gilbert… is trying to develop a better understanding of the way people, bacteria, and the environment around them interact, from the kitchen floor to the greater Chicago area.”

Landmark Crohn’s Microbiome Study Yields Important Findings – David Wild – GastroEndoNews

“The association suggests that there is a potential link between the presence of these microbes and the serologic biomarkers, but that needs to be determined in future studies,” said Dr. Xavier, who presented the study at Digestive Disease Week 2014”

Is that how the capsules will look like? Good news: You can take your fecal transplants orally – Rachel Feltman – Washington Post

“In a study published Saturday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers report that the same success rate can be reached by processing the healthy excrement into capsules and administering the pills by mouth.“

Probiotics on the brain: A growing number of scientists now believe that gut bacteria can influence mental health – Elizabeth Gehrman – Boston Globe

“Whenever someone says there’s an impossibility in medicine,” says Williams, “they end up being corrected in a few years.”

Unravelling the link between gut bacteria and horse health – University of Surrey

“Researchers at the University of Surrey, in collaboration with colleagues from Reading and Liverpool universities, have been awarded £100,000 funding by Petplan Charitable Trust… to create a laboratory model of the horse’s hindgut.”

The Second Brain: Gut Bacteria Control Human Behavior to Get the Best Nutrients – David Gutierrez – Epoch Times

“Bacteria within the gut are manipulative,” researcher Carlo Maley, PhD, said. “There is a diversity of interests represented in the microbiome, some aligned with our own dietary goals, and others not.”

Science, publishing, career

Sometimes My Job Seems Like a Secret – Amy Davidson – Speaking Of Research

“You are going to hell.” “You are a horrible person.” “We cannot be friends anymore.”

Sell yourself: Adding substance to your personal statement – Brian Rybarczyk – Science Careers at Science Magazine

“Obtaining feedback on your personal statement (or any piece of writing) can be intimidating, but feedback is essential for creating a polished and readable document.”

Bik’s Picks

Why Orange Juice Tastes Disgusting After You Brush Your Teeth: Finally, an answer – Sarah Fecht – Popular Science

“In a handy video, the American Chemical Society has explained why orange juice (and food in general) tastes like soap after you brush your teeth. “

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Human microbiome digest, October 7, 2014

Treating toxic arsenic levels with yoghurt, colonization patterns in low birthweight infants, evil alliances in breastmilk, and smoking and oral microbiome.

Human microbiome general

Opinion: Conservation and stewardship of the human microbiome – Kieran C. O’Doherty – PNAS USA

“Just as humans have impacted many large animal species in the environment, drastic changes in human lifestyle over the past century may have altered the global pool of human-associated microbes; if so, these shifts may pose substantial threats to individual and public health.”

Friends with Social Benefits: Host-Microbe Interactions as a Driver of Brain Evolution and Development? – Roman M. Stilling – Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology

“Here in this hypothesis and theory article, we propose how host-microbe associations potentially influenced mammalian brain evolution and development. “

Pregnancy and birth

Intestinal Colonization Among Very Low Birth Weight Infants in First Week of Life (PDF) – Sourabh Dutta – Indian Pediatrics

“Very low birth weight infants admitted in neonatal intensive care units have abnormal intestinal colonization patterns”

Is a fetus developing in a sterile environment? – Trudy M. Wassenaar and Pinaki Panigrahi – Letters in Applied Microbiology

Probiotics and Necrotizing Enterocolitis – Josef Neu – Clinics in Perinatology (paywalled even at Stanford)

Potential involvement of Campylobacter curvus and Haemophilus parainfluenzae in preterm birth – George Louis Mendz – BMJ Case Reports

“A woman presented with prelabour premature preterm rupture of membranes and delivered extremely preterm at 26 weeks by caesarean section.”

Network analysis reveals a potentially ‘evil’ alliance of opportunistic pathogens inhibited by a cooperative network in human milk bacterial communities – Zhanshan Ma – arXiv

“..we reconstructed a milk bacterial community network with the data from Hunt et al (2011), which is the largest 16S-rRNA sequence data set of human milk microbiome available to date.”

Randomized Open-Label Pilot Study of the Influence of Probiotics and the Gut Microbiome on Toxic Metal Levels in Tanzanian Pregnant Women and School Children – Jordan E. Bisanz – mBio

“Consumption of probiotic yogurt had a protective effect against further increases in mercury (3.2 nmol/liter; P = 0.035) and arsenic (2.3 nmol/liter; P = 0.011) blood levels in the pregnant women, but this trend was not statistically significant in the children.”

Human oral microbiome

* Alcohol and tobacco consumption affects bacterial richness in oral cavity mucosa biofilms – Andrew Maltez Thomas – BMC Microbiology

“DNA was extracted from swabs and the V1 region of the 16S rRNA gene was PCR amplified and sequenced using the Ion Torrent PGM platform, generating 3.7 million high quality reads. “

* Subgingival microbiome in smokers and non-smokers in Korean chronic periodontitis patients – Ji-Hoi Moon – Molecular Oral Microbiology

“Here, we investigated the composition of subgingival bacterial communities from the pooled plaque samples of smokers and non-smokers, 134 samples each group, in Korean moderate chronic periodontitis patients using 16S rRNA gene-based pyrosequencing.”

Human respiratory microbiome

Sinus culture poorly predicts resident microbiota – Leah J. Hauser – International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology

“The association between 16S relative abundance and detection by culture was determined using logistic regression.”

Localization of Burkholderia cepacia Complex Bacteria in Cystic Fibrosis Lungs and Interactions with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Hypoxic Mucus – Ute Schwab – Infection and Immunity

“We performed immunohistochemistry for Bcc and P. aeruginosa bacteria on 21 coinfected or singly infected CF lungs obtained at transplantation or autopsy. “

Human gut microbiome

* Intestinal permeability, gut-bacterial dysbiosis, and behavioral markers of alcohol-dependence severity – Sophie Leclercq – PNAS USA

“In this study, we showed that alcohol-dependent subjects with altered intestinal permeability had also altered gut-microbiota composition and activity and remained with high scores of depression, anxiety, and alcohol craving after a short-term detoxification program.”

Structural modulation of gut microbiota during alleviation of type 2 diabetes with a Chinese herbal formula – Jia Xu – ISME Journal

“Pyrosequencing of the V3 regions of 16S rRNA genes revealed a dose-dependent deviation of gut microbiota in response to GQD treatment.”

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. “

Animal models of microbiome research

Transcriptome analysis of Escherichia coli O157:H7 grown in vitro in the sterile-filtrated cecal content of human gut microbiota associated rats reveals an adaptive expression of metabolic and virulence genes – Guillaume Le Bihan – Microbes and Infection

“A transcriptomic analysis was performed on the EHEC strain EDL933 incubated in vitro in the sterile-filtrated cecal content of human microbiota-associated rats (HMC) compared with EDL933 incubated in the sterile-filtrated cecal content of germ-free rat (GFC).”

Early Innate Immunity to Bacterial Infection in the Lung Is Regulated Systemically by the Commensal Microbiota via Nod-Like Receptor Ligands – Thomas B. Clarke – Infection and Immunity

“Microbiota depletion caused significant defects in the early innate response to lung infection by the major human pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae.”

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Non-human microbiome, August 19, 2014

A very diverse mix today: kangaroo, rumen, Daphnia, ticks, corals, rice, switchgrass, drinking water, acid mine drainage, rocks, soil microbiomes.

Mammal microbiome

Investigation of the microbial metabolism of carbon dioxide and hydrogen in the kangaroo foregut by stable isotope probing – Scott Godwin – ISME Journal

“Our results clearly demonstrate that the activity of bacterial reductive acetogens is a key factor in the reduced methane output of kangaroos”

Temporal dynamics of fibrolytic and methanogenic rumen microorganisms during in situ incubation of switchgrass determined by 16S rRNA gene profiling – Hailan Piao – Frontiers in Microbiology

“Here we investigated the temporal succession of microbial taxa and its effect on fiber composition during rumen incubation using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing.”

Arthropod microbiome

Bacterial epibionts of Daphnia: a potential route for the transfer of dissolved organic carbon in freshwater food webs – Ester M Eckert and Jakob Pernthaler – ISME Journal

“We analysed the activity and identity of bacterial epibionts in cultures of Daphnia galeata and of natural daphnid populations.”

Evaluation of microbial communities and symbionts in Ixodes ricinus and ungulate hosts (Cervus elaphus and Ovis aries) from shared habitats on the west coast of Norway
Erik G. Granquist – Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases

“Five different species; M. mitochondrii, W. pipientis, Borrelia spp., Rickettia spp. and A. phagocytophilum, were analyzed on a 7500 Fast Real-time PCR system (Life Technologies, Carlsbad, CA), and carried out in separate 96-wells reaction plates. “

Coral microbiome

New insights into Oculina patagonica coral diseases and their associated Vibrio spp. communities – Esther Rubio-Portillo – ISME Journal

“….we have analysed the seasonal patterns of the culturable Vibrio spp. assemblages associated with healthy and diseased O. patagonica colonies. “

Bloom of the cyanobacterium Moorea bouillonii on the gorgonian coral Annella reticulata in Japan – Hideyuki Yamashiro – Nature Scientific Reports

“In addition to the cyanobacterium–shrimp interaction, the new trait of anchoring by the cyanobacterium into gorgonian coral may contribute to persistence of this bloom.”

Not just who, but how many: the importance of partner abundance in reef coral symbioses – Ross Cunning and Andrew C. Baker – Frontiers in Microbiology

“…we generate testable hypotheses regarding the importance of symbiont abundance by first discussing different metrics and their potential links to symbiosis performance and breakdown, and then describing how natural variability and dynamics of symbiont communities may help explain ecological patterns on coral reefs and predict responses to environmental change.”

Plant microbiome

Phylogeny and Functions of Bacterial Communities Associated with Field-Grown Rice Shoots – Takashi Okubo – Microbes and Environments

“Metagenomic analysis was applied to bacterial communities associated with the shoots of two field-grown rice cultivars, Nipponbare and Kasalath.”

Reviving of the endophytic bacterial community as a putative mechanism of plant resistance – Olga Podolich – Plant and Soil

“Based on the published results, we suggest that the endophyte-mediated stress tolerance or disease resistance can develop, if the plant hosts a sufficient diversity of ‘protective’ endophytes. “

The rhizosphere microbiota of plant invaders: an overview of recent advances in the microbiomics of invasive plants – Vanessa C. Coats, Mary E. Rumpho – Frontiers in Microbiology

“This review discusses recent advances in invasive plant biology that have resulted from microbiome analyses as well as the microbial factors that direct plant fitness and adaptability in natural systems.”

Kelp forest size alters microbial community structure and function on Vancouver Island, Canada – Jessica Liz Clasen and Jonathan B. Shurin – Ecology

“We investigated the response of microbial communities to variation in kelp abundance between regions with and without sea otter populations along the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada”

Soil, sediments, rocks

* Impact of fire on active layer and permafrost microbial communities and metagenomes in an upland Alaskan boreal forest – Neslihan Taş – ISME Journal

“We measured geochemistry, GHG fluxes, potential soil enzyme activities and microbial community structure via 16SrRNA gene and metagenome sequencing.”

Integrated Metagenomics and Metatranscriptomics Analyses of Root-Associated Soil from Transgenic Switchgrass – Archana Chauhan – Genome Announcements

“Here we report metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses of root-associated soil from COMT switchgrass compared with nontransgenic counterparts.”

Abiotic stress tolerance and competition-related traits underlie phylogenetic clustering in soil bacterial communities – Marta Goberna – Ecology Letters

“We examined the distribution of 15 traits and 3290 bacterial taxa in 28 plots. Communities showed a marked functional response to the environment. “

Elevated nitrate enriches microbial functional genes for potential bioremediation of complexly contaminated sediments – Meiying Xu – ISME Journal

“Here we analyzed sediment microbial communities from a field-scale in situ bioremediation site, a creek in Pearl River Delta containing a variety of contaminants “

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

“The presence and in vitro expression of homologues to 22 bacterial human virulence determinants amongst culturable soil bacteria was investigated.”

Endolithic bacterial communities in rock coatings from Kärkevagge, Swedish Lapland – Cassandra L. Marnocha – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

“Using 454 Roche pyrosequencing of the 16S rDNA gene, nine rock coating samples from three different coating mineralogies were sequenced.”

Biodegradation Potential of Organically Enriched Sediments under Sulfate- and Iron-Reducing Conditions as Revealed by the 16S rRNA Deep Sequencing – Tomoyuki Hori – Journal of Water and Environment Technology

“The effects of supplementation with sulfate and lepidocrocite (a crystalline Fe[III] oxide) on the structure and activity of the slurry microorganisms were examined by the combined physicochemical analyses and 16S rRNA deep sequencing. “

Soil bacterial diversity in degraded and restored lands of Northeast Brazil – Ademir Sérgio Ferreira Araújo – Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

“In this study we compare the structure and diversity of bacterial communities in degraded and restored lands in Northeast Brazil and determine the soil biological and chemical properties influencing bacterial communities. “

Biogeochemical environments of streambed-sediment pore waters with and without arsenic enrichment in a sedimentary rock terrain, New Jersey Piedmont, USA
A.C. Mumford – Science of the Total Environment

“The 16S rRNA gene and the As(V) respiratory reductase gene, arrA, were amplified from DNA extracted from streambed pore water at both sites and analyzed, revealing that distinct bacterial communities that corresponded to the redox conditions were present at each site. “

Water, wastewater, sludge microbiome

* A comprehensive insight into bacterial virulence in drinking water using 454 pyrosequencing and Illumina high-throughput sequencing – Kailong Huang – Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety

“In order to comprehensively investigate bacterial virulence in drinking water, 454 pyrosequencing and Illumina high-throughput sequencing were used to detect potential pathogenic bacteria and virulence factors (VFs) in a full-scale drinking water treatment and distribution system. “

A high-throughput sequencing ecotoxicology study of freshwater bacterial communities and their responses to tebuconazole – Pascault Noémie – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

“Pyrosequencing revealed that bacterial diversity was higher in the river than in the lakes and in previously-exposed sites than in pristine sites.”

Disturbance and temporal partitioning of the activated sludge metacommunity – David C Vuono – ISME Journal

“Bacterial small subunit (SSU) rRNA genes were surveyed from sludge samples resulting in a sequence library of >417 000 SSU rRNA genes. “

Review: Environmental bacteriophages: viruses of microbes in aquatic ecosystems – Télesphore Sime-Ngando – Frontiers in Microbiology

“The present chapter sought to review the literature on the diversity and functional roles of viruses of microbes in environmental microbiology,”

* Inter-species interconnections in acid mine drainage microbial communities
Luis R. Comolli and Jill F. Banfield – Frontiers in Microbiology

Here, we present cryogenic transmission electron microscope (cryo-TEM) 2D images and 3D tomographic datasets for archaeal species from natural acid mine drainage (AMD) microbial communities. “

A study on the microbial community structure in oil reservoirs developed by water flooding – Lin Junzhang – Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering

“This study was performed to identify the microbial community structures in 10 different types of water-flooded oil reservoirs on Sinopec Shengli Oil Field. “

Microbes of the built environment

* Microbial Existence in Controlled Habitats and Their Resistance to Space Conditions – Kasthuri Venkateswaran – Microbes and Environments

“In this review, we discussed the presence of microbes in space research-related closed habitats and the resistance of some microbial species to the extreme environmental conditions of space.”

Microbial Monitoring of Crewed Habitats in Space—Current Status and Future Perspectives – Nobuyasu Yamaguchi – Microbes and Environments

“In this review, the current status of microbial monitoring conducted in the International Space Station (ISS) as well as the results of recent microbial spaceflight experiments have been summarized and future perspectives are discussed.”

Food microbiology

Investigation of bacterial and fungal diversity in tarag using high-throughput sequencing
Zhihong Sun – Journal of Dairy Science

“This is the first study on the bacterial and fungal community diversity in 17 tarag samples (naturally fermented dairy products) through a metagenomic approach involving high-throughput pyrosequencing. “

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General microbiology and science, July 16

Comparison of 1700 metagenomes,  $125,000 to study 100 trillion bacteria, arsenic speciation, and the Seinfeld “double dipping” videoclip.

General microbiome and metagenome

Metagenome exploringExploring Neighborhoods in the Metagenome Universe – Kathrin P. Aßhauer – International Journal of Molecular Sciences

“Our evaluation on more than 1700 publicly available metagenomes indicates that for a query metagenome from a particular habitat on average nine out of ten nearest neighbors represent the same habitat category independent of the utilized profiling method or distance measure. “

UMass Cancer Avatar Institute, Center for Microbiome Research backed by UMass president

“Beth McCormick, PhD, professor of microbiology & physiological systems, was also awarded $125,000 to develop the Center for Microbiome Research, envisioned as a center of research and education for the microbiome, the ecosystem of the 100 trillion bacteria in the human body.”

Dengue virus

Endothelial Cells in Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever – Anon Srikiatkhachorn – Antiviral Research

“In this review we summarize dengue viruses and the spectrum of human disease and highlight evidence of endothelial cell dysfunction in DHF based on studies in patients and mouse and tissue culture models. “

Dengue fever and bone marrow myelofibrosis – Xin Qing – Experimental and Molecular Pathology

“We report the first case to our knowledge of myelofibrosis associated with dengue fever. We briefly describe dengue infections and hypothesize the causes of myelofibrosis in this condition.”

African genetic ancestry is associated with a protective effect on Dengue severity in colombian populations – Juan C. Chacón-Duque – Infection, Genetics and Evolution

“We found that African ancestry has a protective effect against severe outcomes under several systems of clinical classification”

Conference abstract: Longitudinal Analysis Of Dengue Fever Infections Reported In The Uk Betwen 2002 – 2013 Using The Health Improvement Network (Thin) Primary Care Database – D Ansell – Value in Health

Polio virus

Comment: Infectious disease: Polio eradication hinges on child health in Pakistan – Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta – Nature

“Last year, only 406 cases were reported, with 160 of them in just a few areas of the three countries where polio remains endemic”

Microbes in the news

Gut feeling: How intestinal bacteria may influence our moods – Sharon Oosthoek – CBC News

“Dr. Emeran Mayer, a gastroenterologist at University of California, Los Angeles, is a self-described sceptic, but admits “there is enough there to make me think some of the findings from animal studies can be extrapolated to humans.””

#BacteriaHysteria: Double-dipping spreads bacteria. But does it get people sick? (with the famous Seinfeld clip) – Joseph Stromberg – Vox.com

“Many people believe that dipping a chip into a shared bowl of drip, taking a bite, and dipping again — termed “double-dipping” in a 1993 episode of Seinfeld — is an abhorrently unsanitary practice. Others, like George Costanza, think this aversion is unscientific, and there’s actually no harm in double-dipping at all.”

Sizing up bacteria – Peter Reuell – Harvard Gazette

“A new theoretical framework outlined by a Harvard scientist could help solve the mystery of how bacterial cells coordinate processes that are critical to cellular division, such as DNA replication, and how bacteria know when to divide.”

Chilling new details on cold-storage smallpox – Hoai-Tran Bui and Alison Young, USA TODAY

Arsenic metabolism

arsenicComplementary Arsenic Speciation Methods: A Review – Michelle M. Nearing – Spectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy

“The toxicity of arsenic greatly depends on its chemical form and oxidation state (speciation) and therefore accurate determination of arsenic speciation is a crucial step in understanding its chemistry and potential risk.”

Science, ethics and publishing

Should Research Fraud be a Crime? A Reader Poll – Ed Silverman – Wall Street Journal

“A researcher may lose a job or stature, but should there be more serious consequences, such as criminal liability? A debate between two academics in BMJ, the British Medical Journal, explores the yin and yang surrounding this question.“

Dr. Bik’s Picks

Great title! IgG walkingIgGs are made for walking on bacterial and viral surfaces – Johannes Preiner – Nature Communications

“Here we utilize high-speed atomic force microscopy to examine the dynamics of antibody recognition and uncover a principle; antibodies do not remain stationary on surfaces of regularly spaced epitopes; they rather exhibit ‘bipedal’ stochastic walking”

General microbiome digest, July 1

Diet and gut microbiome (again), Campylobacter in chicken is not a commensal, microbiomes of fish, insects, corals, plant, and hospitals, and women in science.

Human gut microbiome

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.07PM, Jul 01Correlation network analysis reveals relationships between diet-induced changes in human gut microbiota and metabolic health – T Kelder – Nutrition & Diabetes

“We assessed fecal microbiota composition and host response patterns of metabolic and inflammatory markers in 10 apparently healthy men subjected to a high-fat high-caloric diet (HFHC, 1300 kcal/day extra) for 4 weeks. “

Pregnancy and birth

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.08PM, Jul 01 1Gestational Age and Age at Sampling Influence Metabolic Profiles in Premature Infants
Reese H. Clark – Pediatrics

“Metabolic profiles (15 amino acids and 35 acylcarnitines) were obtained by using standard newborn techniques on infants born between 23 and 31 completed weeks of gestation.”

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.08PM, Jul 01Non-invasive analysis of intestinal development in preterm and term infants using RNA-Sequencing – Jason M. Knight – Nature Scientific Reports

“we have developed a novel, noninvasive, molecular approach that utilizes next generation RNA sequencing on stool samples containing intact epithelial cells for the purpose of quantifying intestinal gene expression.”

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.09PM, Jul 01Cesarean Section and Rate of Subsequent Stillbirth, Miscarriage, and Ectopic Pregnancy: A Danish Register-Based Cohort Study – Sinéad M. O’Neill – PLOS Medicine

“This study found that cesarean section is associated with a small increased rate of subsequent stillbirth and ectopic pregnancy.”

Bird microbiome

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.10PM, Jul 01Campylobacter jejuni Is Not Merely a Commensal in Commercial Broiler Chickens and Affects Bird Welfare – Suzanne Humphrey – mBio

“Through experimental infection of four commercial breeds of broiler chickens, we show that breed has a significant effect on C. jejuni infection and the immune response of the animals, although these factors have limited impact on the number of bacteria in chicken ceca. “

Fish microbiome

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.10PM, Jul 01 1Quorum quenching bacteria Bacillus sp. QSI-1 protect zebrafish (Danio rerio) from Aeromonas hydrophila infection – Weihua Chu – Nature Scientific Reports

“In this study, the effect of Bacillus sp. QSI-1 as an efficient quorum quencher on virulence factors production and biofilm formation of fish pathogen Aeromonas hydrophila was investigated. ”

Insect microbiome

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.11PM, Jul 01Evolutionary origin of insect–Wolbachia nutritional mutualism – Naruo Nikoh – PNAS

“In the bedbug’s Wolbachia genome, we identified a gene cluster encoding the complete synthetic pathway for biotin (vitamin B7), which is not present in other Wolbachia genomes and is presumably acquired via lateral transfer from a coinfecting endosymbiont. “

Corals and sponges microbiome

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.12PM, Jul 01Local genomic adaptation of coral reef-associated microbiomes to gradients of natural variability and anthropogenic stressors – Linda W. Kelly – PNAS

“The present study investigated the community structure and metabolic potential of microbes inhabiting coral reefs located across an extensive area in the central Pacific. “

Plant microbiome

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.13PM, Jul 01The role of sulfur and phosphorus mobilizing bacteria in biochar induced growth promotion of Lolium perenne – A Fox – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

“16S rRNA gene based rhizobacteria community analysis revealed a significant biochar treatment effect. Abundance of nematodes feeding on bacteria was also significantly increased in the biochar treatments.”

Functional diversification within bacterial lineages promotes wide functional overlapping between taxonomic groups in a Mediterranean soil forest – J Curiel Yuste – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

“We investigated the relationship between taxonomy and functioning of soil bacterial communities in soils from a Mediterranean Holm-oak forest using a high throughput DNA pyrosequencing technique. “

Soil, sewage and sludge microbiome

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.15PM, Jul 01Response of soil-associated microbial communities to intrusion of coal mine-derived acid mine drainage – Justin S Brantner and John M Senko – Environmental Science & Technology

” Evaluation of pyrosequencing-derived 16S rRNA gene sequences recovered from incubations revealed the development of microbial community characteristics that were similar to those of the mature iron mound sediment. “

Transformation Products and Human Metabolites of Triclocarban and Triclosan in Sewage Sludge Across the United States – Benny F. G. Pycke – Environmental Science & Technology

“Here, we report on the levels of eight transformation products, human metabolites, and manufacturing byproducts of TCC and TCS in raw and treated sewage sludge.”

Built Environment Microbiome

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.14PM, Jul 01Rethinking Sterile: The Hospital Microbiome – Carrie Arnold – Environ Health Perspect

“Gilbert, an environmental microbiologist at Argonne National Laboratory, and his platoon of graduate students, postdocs, and research assistants descended on the hospital several times each day, even before it opened to the public. Armed with cotton swabs, they focused their efforts on the floors devoted to surgery and oncology. “

Bioinformatics

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.15PM, Jul 01 1A cloud-compatible bioinformatics pipeline for ultrarapid pathogen identification from next-generation sequencing of clinical samples – Samia N. Naccache – Genome Research

“Here we describe SURPI (“sequence-based ultrarapid pathogen identification”), a computational pipeline for pathogen identification from complex metagenomic NGS data generated from clinical samples, and demonstrate use of the pipeline in the analysis of 237 clinical samples comprising more than 1.1 billion sequences. “

Metagenomics

Metagenomic scaffolds enable combinatorial lignin transformation
Cameron R. Strachan – PNAS

“In this study, we devised a previously unidentified biosensor responsive to lignin transformation products. We used this biosensor in a functional screen to recover metagenomic scaffolds sourced from coal bed bacterial communities. “

Arsenic metabolism

Sealing rice field boundaries in Bangladesh: a pilot study demonstrates reductions in water use, arsenic loading to field soils, and methane emissions from irrigation water – Rebecca B Neumann – Environmental Science & Technology

“Irrigation of rice fields in Bangladesh with arsenic-contaminated and methane-rich groundwater loads arsenic into field soils and releases methane into the atmosphere. We tested the water-savings potential of sealing field bunds (raised boundaries around field edges) as a way to mitigate these negative outcomes.”

Localised Flux-Maxima of Arsenic, Lead and Iron around Root Apices in Flooded Lowland Rice – Paul Nicholas Williams – Environmental Science & Technology

“Here we use new diffusive gradients in thin-film (DGT)/planar optode sandwich sensors deployed in situ on rice roots to demonstrate a new geochemical niche of greatly enhanced As, Pb and Fe(II) mobilization into solution immediately adjacent to the root tips characterized by O2 enrichment and low pH. “

Dengue

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.16PM, Jul 01Baicalin, a metabolite of baicalein with antiviral activity against dengue virus – Ehsan Moghaddam – Nature Scientific Reports

“Here, we examined the anti-DENV properties of baicalin in vitro, and described the inhibitory potentials of baicalin at different steps of DENV-2 (NGC strain) replication.”

Antibiotic resistance

Review: The expression of antibiotic resistance genes in antibiotic-producing bacteria – Stefanie Mak – Molecular Microbiology

“Antibiotic-producing bacteria encode antibiotic resistance genes that protect them from the biologically active molecules that they produce. The expression of these genes needs to occur in a timely manner: either in advance of or concomitantly with biosynthesis. It appears that there have been at least two general solutions to this problem. “

General microbiology

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.20PM, Jul 01Bacterial sugar utilization gives rise to distinct single-cell behaviors – Taliman Afroz – Molecular Microbiology

“Here, we performed single-cell analyses to probe the behavior of representative pathways in the model bacterium Escherichia coli. “

Identification of essential Alphaproteobacterial genes reveals operational variability in conserved developmental and cell cycle systems – Patrick D. Curtis and Yves V. Brun – Molecular Microbiology

“These results show that while essential cell functions are conserved across varying genetic distance, much of a given organism’s essential gene pool is specific to that organism.”

Science and career

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.22PM, Jul 01Elite male faculty in the life sciences employ fewer women – Jason M. Sheltzer and Joan C. Smith – PNAS

“To explore the current causes of women’s underrepresentation in biology, we collected publicly accessible data from university directories and faculty websites about the composition of biology laboratories at leading academic institutions in the United States. “

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.01PM, Jul 01Americans Think We Have the World’s Best Colleges. We Don’t. – Kevin Carey – New York Times

We see K-12 schools and colleges differently because we’re looking at two different yardsticks: the academic performance of the whole population of students in one case, the research performance of a small number of institutions in the other.”

Dr. Bik’s picks

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.23PM, Jul 01Herbivore diet breadth mediates the cascading effects of carnivores in food webs – Michael S. Singer – PNAS

“Accounting for phylogenetic nonindependence of herbivores and plants, we show for the first time (to our knowledge) that dietary specialization of herbivore species is associated with reduced bird predation across an herbivore phylogeny, and that dietary specialization of herbivores increases the antipredator effects of camouflage and aposematism.”

Screen shot 2014-07-01 at 06.23PM, Jul 01 1Evolution of the ribosome at atomic resolution – Anton S. Petrov – PNAS

“Comparing eukaryotic and prokaryotic ribosomes allows us to identify 3D insertion fingerprints of the expansion segments. Similar fingerprints allow us to analyze the common core and detect ancestral expansion segments within it. “

Plastic mapPlastic debris in the open ocean – Andrés Cózar – PNAS

“In this work, we synthetize data collected across the world to provide a global map and a first-order approximation of the magnitude of the plastic pollution in surface waters of the open ocean.”

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General microbiology and science, June 11

Lots of dengue and host response today, but also biosynthetic pathways, a book review, snakes, melons, bones, and bandages for mice.

Metagenomics and gene ontology

Hao Wang atlasAtlas of nonribosomal peptide and polyketide biosynthetic pathways reveals common occurrence of nonmodular enzymes – Hao Wang – PNAS

“This study demonstrates the widespread distribution of nonribosomal peptide synthetase and modular polyketide synthase biosynthetic pathways across the three domains of life, by cataloging a total of 3,339 gene clusters from 2,699 genomes. “

Microbiology general

Bacteria are godsBacteria Are Our Gods: Nicholas P. Money, a Mycologist, Has Written a Beautiful Book About the Facts of Life – Charles Mudede – The Stranger

“a beautifully written collection of linked essays called The Amoeba in the Room: Lives of the Microbes. The book is by Nicholas P. Money, a mycologist who teaches at Miami University”

Dengue

Dengue NoeckerContrasting associations of polymorphisms in FcγRIIa and DC-SIGN with the clinical presentation of dengue infection in a Mexican population – Cecilia A. Noecker – Acta Tropica

“In this study, real-time PCR was used to characterize the distribution of rs1801274 and rs4804803 in subjects with asymptomatic dengue infection (n = 145), uncomplicated dengue (n = 67), and severe dengue (n = 36) in Morelos.”

Dengue Rong Fu ChenAugmented miR-150 expression associated with depressed SOCS1 expression involved in dengue haemorrhagic fever – Rong-Fu Chen – Journal of Infection

“SOCS1 expression and lower IFN-γ level were significantly reduced in DHF patients, but not in patients with DF. Elevated SOCS1 and reduced miR-150 levels were detected 24 h after DENV-2 infection in PBMCs. “

PNASCommentary: How season and serotype determine dengue transmissibility
Neil M. Ferguson and Derek A. T. Cummings – PNAS

“The research published by Reiner et al. in PNAS (10) starts to address the last of these uncertainties by giving us a unique picture of how rates of transmission of the four dengue viruses varied in Iquitos, a small city in Peru, over a 12-y period.”

Dengue DelmelleA web-based geospatial toolkit for the monitoring of dengue fever – Eric M. Delmelle – Applied Geography

“In this paper, we present a web-based geospatial toolkit with a user-friendly interactive interface for the monitoring of dengue fever outbreaks, in space and time. “

Infection and host response

Nicholas IlottLong non-coding RNAs and enhancer RNAs regulate the lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory response in human monocytes – Nicholas E. IIott – Nature Communications

“…here we characterize the long non-coding RNA transcriptome in primary human monocytes using RNA sequencing. We identify 76 enhancer RNAs (eRNAs), 40 canonical lncRNAs, 65 antisense lncRNAs and 35 regions of bidirectional transcription (RBT) that are differentially expressed in response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS).”

Screen shot 2014-06-11 at 01.29PM, Jun 11Exploring the collaboration between antibiotics and the immune response in the treatment of acute, self-limiting infections – Peter Ankomah and Bruce R. Levin – PNAS

“We use a mathematical model and computer simulations to explore the design and evaluation of antibiotic treatment protocols for an acute, self-limiting bacterial infection. “

Beth TamburiniAntigen capture and archiving by lymphatic endothelial cells following vaccination or viral infection – Beth A. Tamburini – Nature Communications

“Antigen derived from viral infections with influenza and vesicular stomatitis virus can persist after resolution of infection. Here we show that antigen can similarly persist for weeks following viral challenge and vaccination. “

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 9.53.19 PMImmunologic Research has a special on Stanford Immunology, with contributions from Kari Nadeau, Robert Negrin, Christopher Contag, and many others.

Arsenic metabolism

Screen shot 2014-06-11 at 01.57PM, Jun 11Feasibility of Arsenic and Antimony NMR Spectroscopy in Solids: An Investigation of Some Group 15 Compounds – Alexandra Faucher – Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

“Results of density functional theory quantum chemistry calculations for isolated molecules using ADF and first-principles calculations using CASTEP, a gauge-including projector augmented wave method to deal with the periodic nature of solids, are compared with experiment.”

Screen shot 2014-06-11 at 02.02PM, Jun 11Role of endometrial concentrations of heavy metals (cadmium, lead, mercury and arsenic) in the aetiology of unexplained infertility – E. Tanrıkut – European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology

“The concentrations of cadmium, lead, mercury and arsenic were measured in endometrial biopsy specimens using atomic absorption spectrometry.”

Screen shot 2014-06-11 at 02.06PM, Jun 11Mitigation approach of arsenic toxicity in chickpea grown in arsenic amended soil with arsenic tolerant plant growth promoting Acinetobacter sp. – Shubhi Srivastava – Electrical Engineering

“The study was undertaken with the aim of testing the effects of isolated bacterial strain nbri05 from arsenic contaminated site of West Bengal.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 10.36.36 PMNSF funds effort to market UT Arlington arsenic analyzer – University of Texas at Arlington – Phys.org

“The National Science Foundation has awarded nearly $200,000 to two University of Texas at Arlington researchers teaming with a private company to make an affordable, environmentally friendly field analyzer for arsenic levels in water.”

Science and Art

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 9.49.44 PMArts: The third culture – Michael John Gorman – Nature
“After months of injections with horse immunoglobulin in 2011, artist Marion Laval-Jeantet had a transfusion of horse blood in a Ljubljana art gallery. She walked around the donor animal on prosthetic hooves; then samples of her hybrid blood were freeze-dried and placed in engraved aluminium cases. “

Dr. Bik’s Picks

Screen shot 2014-06-11 at 01.27PM, Jun 11Medically important differences in snake venom composition are dictated by distinct postgenomic mechanisms – Nicholas R. Casewell – PNAS

“Venom variation observed between related snake species is therefore the result of a complex interaction between a variety of genetic and postgenomic factors acting on toxin genes. “

Shahar Cohen melonThe PH gene determines fruit acidity and contributes to the evolution of sweet melons – Shahar Cohen – Nature Communications

“We identify a family of plant-specific genes with a major effect on fruit acidity by map-based cloning of C. melo PH gene (CmPH) from melon, Cucumis melo taking advantage of the novel natural genetic variation for both high and low fruit acidity in this species”

Cow skullA Bone Collector’s Basement Of Animal Skulls Sees The Light – Lauren Sommer – NPR

“Bandar has spent 60 years building this scientific collection of animal bones. Now, many of his skulls are on view at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, which has just opened an exhibit featuring his work.”

Bandage coatingBandage Coating Kills Bacteria Using Graphene And Hydrogen Peroxide – Melissae Fellet – ACS

“A bandage loaded with graphene quantum dots and a small amount of hydrogen peroxide significantly reduces the amount of bacteria in wounds on mice”

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 9.46.55 PMAt the start of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Nature has a special on South American science

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 10.43.30 PMQ&A: The nutrient hunter – Jascha Hoffman – Nature

“Investigative food journalist Jo Robinson has spent more than a decade scouring the literature on plant nutrition. Her demonstration garden in Washington state opens this month as her book Eating on the Wild Side (Little, Brown, 2013) emerges in paperback. She talks about eating tomatoes to protect from sunburn, why bitter is better — and how purple is the new green.”

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