April 18, 2017

Today’s digest hosts a number of rhizosphere-related publications as well as a good amount of interesting microbiome-host-health science.  Coming up next week is BioData World West 2017, a conference focused on Genomics/Precision Medicine/AI that I will be attending – I’ll keep an eye out for anything microbiome-related!

Events and jobs

2017 Metagenomics Workshop – Edwards Lab Event (Bioinformatics)

BioData World West 2017 – Precision Medicine, AI, Genomics Conference

General microbiome

Biological Determinants of Health: Genes, Microbes, and Metabolism Exemplars of Nursing Science – Erin P. Ferranti – Nursing Outlook

* Microbiotal-Host Interactions and Hypertension – Sarah Galla – Physiology

Multi-site human microbiome

The Landscape Ecology and Microbiota of the Human Nose, Mouth, and Throat – Diana M. Proctor – Cell Host & Microbe

Human respiratory microbiome

* The microbiome in respiratory medicine: current challenges and future perspectives – Rosa Faner – European Respiratory Journal

Human skin microbiome

Living in Peace: Host-Microbiota Mutualism in the Skin – Daniel J. Campbell – Cell Host & Microbe

Human gut microbiome

The Gut Microbiome: Connecting Spatial Organization to Function – Carolina Tropini – Cell Host & Microbe

Lactobacillus casei DG and its postbiotic reduce the inflammatory mucosal response: an ex-vivo organ culture model of post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome – Compare D – BMC Gastroenterology

Animal experiments

Age-Associated Microbial Dysbiosis Promotes Intestinal Permeability, Systemic Inflammation, and Macrophage Dysfunction – Netusha Thevaranjan – Cell Host & Microbe

Animal microbiome

PrePrint – Succession of embryonic and intestinal bacterial communities of Atlantic salmon – Jep Lokesh – bioRxiv

The Role of Rumen Microbiome on Feed Efficiency of Grazing Cattle [page 138] – Leluo Guan – 28th Annual Florida Ruminant Nutrition Symposium

Structure and dynamics of the gut bacterial microbiota of the bark beetle, Dendroctonus rhizophagus (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) across their life stages – Carlos Iván Briones-Roblero – PLOS One

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

The role of soil chemistry and plant neighbourhoods in structuring fungal communities in three Panamanian rainforests – Tyler Schappe – Journal of Ecology

Host plant compatibility shapes the proteogenome of Frankia coriariae – Amir Ktari – Frontiers in Microbiology

Managing and manipulating the rhizosphere microbiome for plant health: A systems approach – Matthew D. Wallenstein – Rhizosphere

In vitro and In vivo biofilm formation by Azotobacter isolates and its relevance to rhizosphere colonization – Mohd. Musheer Altaf – Rhizosphere

Metabolism of pyrene through phthalic acid pathway by enriched bacterial consortium composed of Pseudomonas, Burkholderia, and Rhodococcus (PBR) – Sagar Vaidya – 3 Biotech

Effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles on soil microbial communities and wheat biomass – Janine Moll – Soil Biology and Biochemistry

The effect of simulated warming on root dynamics and soil microbial community in an alpine meadow of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau – Changting Wang – Applied Soil Ecology

Water and extremophile microbiome

Impacts of sea-level rise on sediment microbial community structure and function in two New England salt marshes, USA – Matt R. Simon – Journals of Soils and Sediments

A critical assessment of the microorganisms proposed to be important to enhanced biological phosphorus removal in full-scale wastewater treatment systems – Mikkel Stokholm-Bjerregaard – Frontiers in Microbiology

Applicability of cryoconite consortia of microorganisms and glacier-dwelling animals in astrobiological studies – Krzysztof Zawierucha – Contemporary Trends in Geoscience

Built environment

Review – Microbiological diagnosis of device-related biofilm infections – Yijuan Xu – APMIS

Patent Application – MONITORING AND MANAGING A FACILITY MICROBIOME – Dillon, Harrison – Free Patents Online

Microbes in space

Origins of Life on Mars: NASA’s Rovers Were Never Sterilized – Rhawn Gabriel Joseph – Cosmology.com

Phages and viruses

Mini Review Article – Phages in the Human Body – Ferran Navarro – Frontiers in Microbiology

Bioinformatics

* A Concurrent Subtractive Assembly Approach for Identification of Disease Associated Sub-metagenomes – Wontack Han – Research in Computational Molecular Biology. RECOMB 2017.

Techniques

Effect of environmental variation on estimating the bacterial species richness – Jongjian Chen – Frontiers in Microbiology

Thesis – USE OF MOLECULAR METHODS IN BIOTHREAT PREPAREDNESS – Katja Koskela – National Defense University: Research Publications No. 13

Microbes in the news

Pets During Pregnancy Trigger Gut Bacteria Changes for Infants That May Cut Obesity Risk, Study Finds

Gut microbiome dysregulation implicated in OCD

Microbes on the market

Innovative Microbiome-based IBD Therapeutics to Be Developed Under New Partnership

Microbiome drug candidate prevents recurrence of C. difficile infection

Ed’s non-microbiology picks

Climate change causes glacial river in Yukon to change direction

Self-taught artificial intelligence beats doctors at predicting heart attacks

Stroke rates appear to be rising steadily in young adults

Costs of Selective Attention: When Children Notice What Adults Miss – Daniel J. Plebanek – APS

California Dryness and Recovery Challenge Multi-Century Odds

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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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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 18

Talking to bacteria to make them feel more comfortable (Bacteria whisperers!), probiotics, viruses vs. helminths, and women in Science.

Phages, viruses, helminths

Virus-helminth coinfection reveals a microbiota-independent mechanism of immunomodulation – Lisa C. Osborne – Science

“Helminth coinfection resulted in impaired antiviral immunity and was associated with changes in the microbiota and STAT6-dependent helminth-induced alternative activation of macrophages.”

Probiotics

Lactobacillus rhamnosus L34 and Lactobacillus casei L39 suppress Clostridium difficile-induced IL-8 production by colonic epithelial cells – Prapaporn Boonma – BMC Microbiology

“We screened Lactobacillus conditioned media from 34 infant fecal isolates for the ability to suppress C. difficile-induced IL-8 production from HT-29 cells. Factors produced by two vancomycin-resistant lactobacilli, L. rhamnosus L34 (LR-L34) and L.casei L39 (LC-L39), suppressed the secretion and transcription of IL-8 without inhibiting C. difficile viability or toxin production. “

Cross-talk between probiotic lactobacilli and host immune system – T.S. Kemgang – Journal of Applied Microbiology

“This review summarizes the interplay existing between the host immune system and probiotic lactobacilli, that is, with emphasis on lactobacilli as a prototype probiotic genus.”

General microbiology

Talking to bacteria? Towards light-mediated sensing of bacterial comfort – G. Zafrilla – Letters in Applied Microbiology

“The framework is to convert the human voice into electric pulses, these into light pulses exciting bacterial fluorescent proteins, and convert light-emission back into electric pulses, which will be finally transformed into synthetic voice messages.”

Bacteria in the news

More Forgotten Virus, Bacteria Vials Found at Federal Lab – Newsplex.com

“Food and Drug Administration officials said Wednesday the undocumented collection contained 327 carefully packaged vials, listing pathogens like dengue, influenza and rickettsia.”

1 weird tip to not die of smallpox – Beth Skwarecki – PLOS Blogs

Jenner then attempted to infect the child with smallpox twenty more times in his life. Fortunately for the kid, the vaccine had worked.”

Women in Science

Science Has a Gender Problem. Science Just Made It Worse – Katy Waldman – Slate

“Transgender sex workers should not be expected to thank Science for “raising awareness” of them as erotic objects, jokes, or disease vectors. “

Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE): Trainees Report Harassment and Assault – Kathryn B. H. Clancy – PLOS ONE

“Little is known about the climate of the scientific fieldwork setting as it relates to gendered experiences, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. We conducted an internet-based survey of field scientists (N = 666) to characterize these experiences. “

Dr. Bik’s Picks

Long read: One of a kind: What do you do if your child has a condition that is new to science? – Seth Mnookin – The New Yorker

“At first, they said, he seemed to represent a challenging problem for each new specialist to solve. But, as one conjecture after another was proved wrong, the specialists lost interest; many then insisted that the cause of Bertrand’s illness lay in someone else’s area of expertise. “

Introduction to special issue: Slicing the wheat genome – Kellye Eversole – Science

“Together, these Research Articles explore multiple dimensions of the 17-gigabase wheat genome and pave the way toward achieving a full reference sequence to underpin wheat research and breeding”

 

Earth-like soils on Mars? Ancient fossilized soils potentially found deep inside impact crater suggest microbial life – Science Daily

“Soil deep in a crater dating to some 3.7 billion years ago contains evidence that Mars was once much warmer and wetter, says a geologist based on images and data captured by the rover Curiosity.”

How Colors Smell – Julie Beck – The Atlantic

“But what color is the smell of, say, soap? A new study published in PLOS One finds that some people say white, some say yellow, some say blue. “

Suspects in science museum’s dinosaur heist turn themselves in – Andrew Kenney – Charlotte Observer

“A man and woman, both 21, turned themselves over to N.C. State Capitol Police on Thursday in the case of the missing model dinosaur.”

 

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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 and science, July 8

Metabolic networks, CRISPR induced immunity, and influence of extraction methods and primers on microbiome analysis. Plus some smallpox in the Lost&Found, and a big citation scandal in SAGE journals.

Microbial ecology / metabolomics

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 10.07.56 PMIdentifying All Moiety Conservation Laws in Genome-Scale Metabolic Networks – Andrea De Martino – PLOS ONE

“ Our method is deployed for the analysis of moiety conservation relationships in two large-scale reconstructions of the metabolism of the bacterium E. coli, in six tissue-specific human metabolic networks, and, finally, in the human reactome as a whole, revealing that bacterial metabolism could be evolutionarily designed to cover broader production spectra than human metabolism.”

Emergent

Emergent Biosynthetic Capacity in Simple Microbial Communities – Hsuan-Chao Chiu – PLOS Computational Biology

“We specifically focus on detecting emergent biosynthetic capacity – instances in which a community growing on some medium produces and secretes metabolites that are not secreted by any member species when growing in isolation on that same medium. “

DIET ArchaeaDirect Interspecies Electron Transfer between Geobacter metallireducens and Methanosarcina barkeri – Amelia-Elena Rotaru – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

“M. barkeri is the second methanogen found to accept electrons via DIET and the first methanogen known to be capable of using either H2 or electrons derived from DIET for CO2 reduction. “

Optimal defenseOptimal Defense Strategies in an Idealized Microbial Food Web under Trade-Off between Competition and Defense – Selina Våge – PLOS ONE

“ Under coexistence with a competition specialist, a balance of competitive and defensive ability of the defense strategist was found to be evolutionarily stable, whereas stronger defense was optimal under increased nutrient levels in the absence of the pure competition specialist.”

Microbial detection

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 10.13.13 PMHuman Herpes Viruses Are Associated with Classic Fever of Unknown Origin (FUO) in Beijing Patients – Weimin Zhou – PLOS ONE

“HHVs are associated with Chinese patients (especially for children) with classic FUO. Our study adds perspective to the aetiological and clinical characteristics of classic FUO in beijing patients.”

Phages and viruses

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 10.13.31 PMCRISPR-Induced Distributed Immunity in Microbial Populations – Lauren M. Childs – PLOS ONE

“We analyze sequence diversity of experimentally coevolving populations of Streptococcus thermophilus and their viruses where CRISPR-Cas is active, and find the rapid emergence of distributed immunity in the host population, demonstrating the importance of this emergent phenomenon in evolving microbial communities.”

Techniques

Influence of DNA Extraction Method, 16S rRNA Targeted Hypervariable Regions, and Sample Origin on Microbial Diversity Detected by 454 Pyrosequencing in Marine Chemosynthetic Ecosystems – Perrine Cruaud – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

“Thanks to statistical and diversity analyses as well as inference of operational taxonomic unit (OTU) networks, we show that (i) while DNA extraction methods do not seem to affect the results for some samples, they can lead to dramatic changes for others; and (ii) the choice of amplification and sequencing primers also considerably affects the microbial community detected in the samples.”

Dengue

Sanofi’s dengue vaccine first to complete phase 3 – Gunjan Sinha – Nature Biotechnology

“Banking on approval, Sanofi has already started production, a move some have described as a “huge gamble” in light of the vaccine’s disappointing results from earlier studies, says Mark Clark, a pharmaceuticals analyst at Deutsche Bank in London.”

Microbes in the News

Found: Forgotten Vials of Smallpox – Maryn McKenna – Wired.com (also see CDC Media Statement)

“Workers clearing out an old storage room on the Bethesda, Md. campus of the National Institutes of Health have found a forgotten box of vials that contain smallpox.”

The Bacteria That Got Spread Throughout The US By Military Testing – Esther Inglis-Arkell – IO9

“Have you ever heard of serratia marcescens bacteria? Today they are a cause of hospital infections. In the 1960s, they were secretly sprayed across Washington, San Francisco, and New York.”

Manage Your Microbes – Laura Stec – Palo Alto Online

“I’ve been researching this wonderful advance in science for Manage Your Microbes, a cook class at Belmont Library on July 29th. “

Science, Publishing, and Career

SAGE Publications busts “peer review and citation ring,” 60 papers retracted – Retraction Watch

SAGE announces the retraction of 60 articles implicated in a peer review and citation ring at the Journal of Vibration and Control (JVC). “

13 Subtle Ways Women Are Treated Differently At Work – Jenna Goudreau – Business Insider

“Both men and women hold these views but often don’t even realize it. “It’s hard to fight this,” says Rivers, but awareness is key.

Dr. Bik’s Picks

Combining colour and temperature: A blue object is more likely to be judged as warm than a red object – Hsin-Ni Ho – Nature Scientific Reports

“It is commonly believed that reddish colour induces warm feelings while bluish colour induces cold feelings. We, however, demonstrate an opposite effect when the temperature information is acquired by direct touch.”

MandarinSequencing of diverse mandarin, pummelo and orange genomes reveals complex history of admixture during citrus domestication – G Albert Wu – Nature Biotechnology

“Here we sequence and compare citrus genomes—a high-quality reference haploid clementine genome and mandarin, pummelo, sweet-orange and sour-orange genomes—and show that cultivated types derive from two progenitor species. “

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