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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Human microbiome digest, October 14, 2014

Preterm birth and pathogens, oral antibiotic changes skin microbiota, dynamics of tongue microbes, and detection of candidate phyla in the human mouth.

Pregnancy and birth

Microbiological Profile of PROM in a Tertiary Care Centre in Mangalore, Karnataka State
Annie Rajaratnam – International Journal of Health Sciences and Research

“A total of 104 cases of PROM that presented after 37 completed weeks’ of gestation were screened for infections by wet mount, Gram stain & routine culture of high vaginal swabs.“

Epidemiologic Factors and Urogenital Infections Associated With Preterm Birth in a Midwestern U.S. Population – Agger, William A – Obstetrics & Gynecology

“Cervical and urine specimens were analyzed by microscopy, culture, and polymerase chain reaction for potential pathogens.”

Human Milk Glycomics and Gut Microbial Genomics in Infant Feces Shows Correlation between Human Milk Oligosaccharides and Gut Microbiota: A Proof-of-Concept Study – Maria Lorna Arao De Leoz – Journal of Proteome Research

“Serial fecal specimens from two healthy breast-fed infants were analyzed by bacterial DNA sequencing to characterize the microbiota and by mass spectrometry to determine abundances of specific HMOs that passed through the intestinal tract without being consumed by the luminal bacteria. “

Human skin microbiome

* Oral Antibiotic Treatment Induces Skin Microbiota Dysbiosis and Influences Wound Healing – Meiling Zhang – Microbial Ecology

“our data demonstrate that antibiotic treatment decreases the bacterial density and alters the bacterial composition in skin wounds, followed by a decrease in RegIIIγ expression, which may contribute to the delayed wound repair. “

Human oral microbiome

* Dynamics of tongue microbial communities with single-nucleotide resolution using oligotyping – Jessica L. Mark Welch – Frontiers in Microbiology

“We employed oligotyping to analyze, with single-nucleotide resolution, oral microbial 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequence data from a time course sampled from the tongue of two individuals, and we interpret our results in the context of oligotypes that we previously identified in the oral data from the Human Microbiome Project. “

Host-associated bacterial taxa from Chlorobi, Chloroflexi, GN02, Synergistetes, SR1, TM7, and WPS-2 Phyla/candidate divisions – Anuj Camanocha, Floyd E. Dewhirst – Journal of Oral Microbiology

“The objectives of this study were to create phyla-selective 16S rDNA PCR primer pairs, create selective 16S rDNA clone libraries, identify novel oral taxa, and update canine and human oral microbiome databases.”

Human gut microbiome

Environmental enteropathy and malnutrition: do we know enough to intervene? – William A Petri – BMC Medicine

“Environmental enteropathy (EE) is a poorly defined state of intestinal inflammation without overt diarrhea that occurs in individuals exposed over time to poor sanitation and hygiene.”

* Meta-analyses of human gut microbes associated with obesity and IBD – William A. Walters, Zech Xu, Rob Knight – FEBS Letters

“Here we test for indicator taxa and general features of the microbiota that are generally consistent across studies of obesity and of IBD, focusing on studies involving high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene (which we could process using a common computational pipeline). “

Diversity of Microflora in Colonic Mucus from Severe Ulcerative Colitis Patients Analyzed by Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism and Clone Libraries of Bacterial 16S rRNA Gene Sequences – I-Nung Huang – Advances in Microbiology

“Also in the clone library analysis, the number of operational taxonomic units (OTU) and the Shannon diversity index were reduced significantly in UC patients.”

The Influence of Whole Grain Products and Red Meat on Intestinal Microbiota Composition in Normal Weight Adults: A Randomized Crossover Intervention Trial – Jana Foerster – PLOS ONE

“Repeatedly data on microbiota were assessed by 16S rRNA based denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE).”

Animal and bioreactor models of microbiome research

Assessing non-digestible compounds in apple cultivars and their potential as modulators of obese faecal microbiota in vitro – Luis Condezo-Hoyos – Food Chemistry

“Results showed that relative abundances of Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Enterococcus, Enterobacteriaceae, Escherichia coli, and Bifidobacterium in apple cultured faeces tended to resemble the abundance in faeces from lean mice with increased trend in the production of butyric acid. “

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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 6, 2014

Preterm birth, multiple sclerosis, aging, and Clostridium difficile infection in animal models.

Pregnancy and Birth

Necrotizing Enterocolitis: A Clinical Review on Diagnostic Biomarkers and the Role of the Intestinal Microbiota – Niemarkt, Hendrik J. – Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

“In this review, we discuss the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of NEC with a focus on the role of microbiota in the development of NEC.”

* Intestinal microbiota of preterm infants differ over time and between hospitals – Diana H Taft – Microbiome Journal

“DNA extracted from stool was used to sequence the 16S rRNA gene by Illumina MiSeq using universal primers. “

Babies’ Gut Bacteria Are Mostly Fixed By Time Spent In The Womb – Nicholas Ellaby – Science 2.0

“Now, a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has added a critical piece to the puzzle. “

Human Gut Microbiome

Gut microbiome and the risk factors in central nervous system autoimmunity – Javier Ochoa-Repárazemail, Lloyd H. Kasper – FEBS Letters

“Of interest to this review is the consistency between this range of MS risk factors and the gut microbiome. We postulate that the gut microbiome serves as the niche where different MS risk factors merge, thereby influencing the disease process.”

Compositional dynamics of the human intestinal microbiota with aging: Implications for health – B. Lakshminarayanan – The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging

“This review summarizes the age-related changes in the microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and the link between the gut microbiota in health and disease. “

Animal models of microbiome research

A Beneficial Effect of Oral Tigecycline Treatment on Clostridium difficile Infection in Gnotobiotic Piglets – Hyeun Bum Kim – Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy

“The efficacy of oral tigecycline treatment (2mg/kg for 7 days) on Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) was evaluated in the gnotobiotic pig model, and its effect on human gut microflora transplanted into the gnotobiotic pig was determined. “

A novel multi-strain probiotic and synbiotic supplement for prevention of Clostridium difficile infection in a murine model – Kanthi Kiran Kondepudi – Microbiology and Immunology

“Feces and cecal contents were collected for microbial cell viability, quantitative PCR (qPCR), toxin analyses and histopathology.“

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Microbiome digest, September 19, 2014

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An update from the Cochrane Review Journal on probiotics to prevent necrotizing enterocolitis, oral microbiome in apical periodontitis or polycystic ovary syndrome, vaginal and gut microbiome, and bacteria in shrimp, soil, and water.
Pregnancy and birth

Probiotics for prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants – Khalid AlFaleh, and Jasim Anabrees – Evidence-Based Child Health: A Cochrane Review Journal

“For this update, searches were made of MEDLINE (1966 to October 2013), EMBASE (1980 to October 2013), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library (2013, Issue 10), and abstracts of annual meetings of the Society for Pediatric Research (1995 to 2013).”

Anne Geddes Unveils New Image Of A Baby Born Too Soon – March of Dimes

“Mrs. Geddes donated the image of Alfred, who was born 8 weeks too soon, weighing just two pounds, six ounces, to the March of Dimes, which made the photo the center of its 2014 World Prematurity Day campaign.”

Human oral microbiome

Highly Diverse Microbiota in Dental Root Canals in Cases of Apical Periodontitis (Data of Illumina Sequencing) – Veiko Vengerfeldt – Journal of Endodontics

“Samples were collected under strict aseptic conditions from 12 teeth … and characterized by profiling the microbial community on the basis of the V6 hypervariable region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene by using Illumina HiSeq2000 sequencing combinatorial sequence-tagged polymerase chain reaction products.”

Association between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Oral Microbiota and Systemic Antibody Responses – Aliye Akcalı – PLOS ONE

“Salivary levels of seven putative periodontal pathogens were analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and serum antibody levels were analyzed by ELISA. “

Human genital microbiome

The Changing Landscape of the Vaginal Microbiome – Bernice Huang – Clinics in Laboratory Medicine

“The vaginal microbiome is a dynamic ecosystem in which the microbiota play a major role in regulating parameters such as pH and in limiting the growth of potentially harmful organisms”

Human gut microbiome

Review: Diet, gut microbes, and genetics in immune function: can we leverage our current knowledge to achieve better outcomes in inflammatory bowel diseases? – Vanessa A Leone – Current Opinion in Immunology

“This review summarizes our current understanding of dietary-induced changes in gut microbiota on autoimmunity in the context of IBD.”

The evolving role of the gut microbiome in human disease – Lloyd H. Kasper – FEBS Letters

“We are delighted to introduce this Special Issue, which summarizes the current understanding of the complex relationship between the gut microbiome and the host.”

Virulence genes are a signature of the microbiome in the colorectal tumor microenvironment – Michael B Burns – bioRxiv Preprints

“We characterized the microbiome in 44 primary tumor and 44 patient-matched normal colon tissues. We find that tumors harbor distinct microbial communities compared to nearby healthy tissue.”

Gut Microbiota: A Natural Adjuvant for Vaccination – Oliver Pabst, Mathias Hornef – Immunity

“In this issue of Immunity, Oh et al. (2014) reveal an unappreciated facet of how the microbiota influences immune responses. Immunity to nonadjuvanted vaccines depends on Toll-like-receptor-5-mediated sensing of the microbiota.”

Animal and bioreactor models

TLR5-Mediated Sensing of Gut Microbiota Is Necessary for Antibody Responses to Seasonal Influenza Vaccination – Jason Z. Oh – Immunity

“Vaccination of Trl5−/− mice resulted in reduced antibody titers and lower frequencies of plasma cells, demonstrating a role for TLR5 in immunity to TIV. This was due to a failure to sense host microbiota. “

In vivo degradation of alginate in the presence and in the absence of resistant starch – Melliana Jonathan – Food Chemistry

“This study evaluated the intestinal degradability of alginate during 74 days intake in pigs as models for humans. “

Effect of prebiotics on the fecal microbiota of elderly volunteers after dietary supplementation of Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 – Edna P. Nyangale – Anaerobe

“Single stage batch culture anaerobic fermenters were used and inoculated with fecal microbiota obtained from volunteers after taking a 28 day treatment of Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 (GanedenBC30 (BC30)) or a placebo.”

Intestinal anastomotic injury alters spatially defined microbiome composition and function – Benjamin D Shogan – Microbiome journal

“Using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing of samples collected on the day of surgery … and the 6th day following surgery …, we analyzed the changes in luminal versus tissue-associated microbiota at anastomotic sites created in the colon of rats.”

General human microbiome

Microbiome in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection – January T. Salas, Theresa L. Chang – Clinics in Laboratory Medicine

“Individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have altered microbiome associated with immune activation that impacts the consquence of disease progression”

Shrimp microbiome

Characterization of the intestinal microbiota in Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, fed diets with different lipid sources – Meiling Zhang – Aquaculture

“an Illumina-based sequencing method was used to examine the intestinal bacterial composition of L. vannamei following six diets with different lipid sources.”

Soil microbiome

Pyrosequencing reveals the effect of mobilizing agents and lignocellulosic substrate amendment on microbial community composition in a real industrial PAH-polluted soil –
S. Lladó – Journal of Hazardous Materials

“Soil microbial community assessment through classical (MPN) and molecular tools (DGGE and pyrosequencing) is provided”

Water microbiome

High-throughput sequencing reveals neustonic and planktonic microbial eukaryote diversity in coastal waters – Joe D. Taylor and Michael Cunliffe – Journal of Phycology

“Here, we use high-throughput 18S rRNA gene sequencing to characterize protist and fungal diversity in the SML at a coastal time-series station and compare with underlying plankton assemblages. “

Microbes in the news

Sex in the Sink: Gene-Swapping Bacteria Are Making New Superbugs – Maggie Fox – NBC News

“Over the past decade, there has been a steady and alarming increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a trend that poses a serious threat to the U.S. medical system,” Segre and colleagues wrote in their report.

Science, publishing, and career

To Get More Out of Science, Show the Rejected Research – Brendan Nyhan – New York Times

“In a new white paper, I propose that the American Political Science Association offer options for articles in a Registered Reports-style format. “

Pushing Women and People of Color Out of Science Before We Go In – Jennifer Selvidge – Huffington Post

“The misogyny and racism I experienced and saw at MIT became more and more concerning, between professors making “get back in the kitchen jokes” and hearing about what seemed to be legions of male PhD student sexually harassing woman undergraduates.”

Bik’s Picks

I want one! These adorable giant African rats detect land mines and TB for a living – Bec Crew – Scientific American

“So yesterday, I adopted an unborn land-mine-detecting African giant pouched rat (Cricetomys gambianus) from Tanzania. “

No sedative necessary: Scientists discover new ‘sleep node’ in the brain – Science Daily

“A sleep-promoting circuit located deep in the primitive brainstem has revealed how we fall into deep sleep. “

Experts: Science Class Can Dazzle With Less Danger – Dan Elliott – ABC News

“On Sept. 3, 13 people, mostly children, were burned by a methanol-fueled flash fire during a science demonstration at the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno.”

(Satire) Bono Showcases New Genome Sequencers, The i-LUMINA 6 and i-LUMINA 6 plus – the Allium

“Lead singer with the rock band U2, Bono, revealed the latest in genome sequencing technology at a gala event in the Moscone Center in San Francisco, yesterday.”

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Microbiome digest, August 28, 2014

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

General  human microbiome 

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

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

Human respiratory microbiome

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

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

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

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

Gut microbiome

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

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

Pregnancy and birth

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

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

Animal models of microbiome research

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

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

Microbiology of the built environment

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

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

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

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

Water microbiome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soil microbiome

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

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

Bik’s Picks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Microbiome digest, August 27, 2014

Not many microbiome papers today, just some other interesting topics: does dirt make you happy, definition of preterm labor, cheese cultures, and solving a Death Valley mystery.

Pregnancy and birth 

The Problem With What Doctors Call Preterm Labor – Catherine Pearson – Huffington Post

“”We have been thinking of preterm birth as though it is one condition, and this is not the right way of thinking about the problem,” Dr. Roberto Romero, chief of the perinatology research branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, told The Huffington Post.”

Insect microbiome

* Identifying the core microbial community in the gut of fungus-growing termites – Saria Otani – Molecular Ecology

“Using 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we show that gut communities have representatives of 26 bacterial phyla and are dominated by Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Spirochaetes, Proteobacteria and Synergistetes”

Microbes in the news

* Does Dirt Make You Happy? – Anna Brones – Modern Farmer

“We benefit from being outdoors and exposed to things like soil and animals, because of the fact that we’re exposed to microorganisms.”

* Scientists and cheesemakers gather for (microbial) culture – Ewen Callaway – Nature News

““I fall in love every time I look at a cheese rind. They’re wonderful microbial ecosystems,” she says.”

Transcriptomics

Comparative analysis of the transcriptome across distant species – Mark B. Gerstein – Nature

“To this end, the ENCODE and modENCODE consortia have generated large amounts of matched RNA-sequencing data for human, worm and fly. “

Bik’s Picks

This has intrigued me for years – very happy to see this paper.
Sliding Rocks on Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park: First Observation of Rocks in Motion – Richard D. Norris – PLOS ONE

“the process of rock movement that we have observed occurs when the thin, 3 to 6 mm, “windowpane” ice sheet covering the playa pool begins to melt in late morning sun and breaks up under light winds of ~4–5 m/s.”

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