Microbiome digest, October 16, 2014

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

Human respiratory microbiome

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

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

Human vaginal microbiome

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

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

Human gut microbiome

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

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

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

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

Insect microbiome

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

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

Soil microbiome

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

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

Water microbiome

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

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

More microbiology

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

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

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

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

Microbes in the news

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bik’s Picks

“Epicenters” of resilience – Mary Lou Zoback – Science

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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Microbiome digest, October 15, 2014

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

Human oral microbiome

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

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

Pregnancy and birth

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

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

Animal models of microbiome research

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

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

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

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

Soil microbiome

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

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

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

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

Water microbiome

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

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

Food microbiology

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

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

CRISPRs, phages, viruses

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

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

Bioinformatics and metagenomics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More microbiology

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

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

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

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

Microbes in the news:

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s in my microbiome? – Richard Sprague

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

Science, publishing and career

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

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

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

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

Overqualified or underqualified? – Carrie Arnold – Science

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

 

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

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

Bik’s Picks

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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Non-human microbiome digest, October 14, 2014

Diatoms in aquatic animals, bacteria in agaves and soybeans, and bacteria in artificial soil.

Animal microbiome

Diatoms in cytologic specimens of aquatic animals – Part I, fecal samples – Nicole StacyDiatoms in cytologic specimens of aquatic animals – Part II, dermal, respiratory, and gastric samples – Nicole Stacy – Veterinary Clinical Pathology

“Diatoms are a common finding in cytologic samples of aquatic animals…and it is necessary to differentiate these microbiota from parasite ova or protozoa.”

Impacts of large-bodied crustaceans on the microbial loop – Krystyna Kalinowska – Hydrobiologia

“Three alien crustacean species (Daphnia pulex, Simocephalus vetulus and Macrocyclops albidus) were collected from the regional species pool and added to mesocosms that were filled with water from a eutrophic lake “

Bacterial Community Composition of Three Candidate Insect Vectors of Palm Phytoplasma (Texas Phoenix Palm Decline and Lethal Yellowing) –  Christopher M. Powell – Current Microbiology

“Individuals from each species were subjected to 16S bacterial community sequencing using the Roche 454 platform, providing new information regarding the previously unexplored bacterial communities present in putative vectors.”

Plant microbiome

Diazotrophic potential among bacterial communities associated with wild and cultivated agaves – Damaris Desgarennes – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

“Here, we investigated the bacterial communities associated with two Agave species by 16S rRNA-DGGE fingerprinting and sequencing.”

Spatio temporal influence of isoflavonoids on bacterial diversity in the soybean rhizosphere – Laura J White – Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions

“We silenced the biosynthesis of isoflavonoids, a major component of soybean rhizodeposits, using RNA interference in hairy root composite plants, and examined changes in rhizosphere bacteriome diversity.”

Soil microbiome

Artificial soil studies reveal domain-specific preferences of microorganisms for the colonisation of different soil minerals and particles size fractions – Michael Hemkemeyer – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

“this study demonstrates that the mineral composition and the particle size fractions have specific and different selective effects on the three domains”

Improving soil bacterial taxa–area relationships assessment using DNA meta-barcoding – S Terrat – Heredity

“Our objectives in this study were to compare DNA fingerprinting and meta-barcoding approaches for evaluating soil bacterial TAR and the determinism of soil bacterial community assembly on a broad scale. “

The role of stochasticity differs in the assembly of soil- and root-associated fungal communities – Sarah Beck – Soil Biology and Biochemistry

“The importance of spatial and environmental factors in shaping fungal beta diversity was determined over a 500 km transect.”

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Microbiome digest, October 8, 2014

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

Human Microbiome General

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

Human Gut Microbiome

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

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

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

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

Insect microbiome

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

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

Coral microbiome

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

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

Soil Microbiome

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

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

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

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

Water microbiome

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

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

Metabolomics

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

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

Techniques

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

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

 More Microbiology

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

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

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

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

Microbes in the News

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

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

 Oral health affects overall health – PhillyTrib

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

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

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

Bik’s Picks  

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weaning piglets, fungus-farming termites, mosquito larval stages, antibiotic resistant bacteria in soil after fertilization, and biogeography of marine microbiomes.

Mammal microbiome

Assessment of fecal bacterial diversity among healthy piglets during the weaning transition – Edward Alain B. Pajarillo – Journal of General and Applied Microbiology

“This study describes the fecal microbial shifts of healthy piglets during the weaning transition using barcoded pyrosequencing of the prokaryotic 16S rRNA gene.”

Insect microbiome

Complementary symbiont contributions to plant decomposition in a fungus-farming termite – Michael Poulsen – PNAS USA

“We analyzed the genomic potential for biomass decomposition in a farming termite, its fungal symbiont, and its bacterial gut communities. “

Composition of Anopheles coluzzii and Anopheles gambiae microbiota from larval to adult stages – Geoffrey Gimonneau – Infection, Genetics and Evolution

“We characterized bacterial communities from aquatic habitats, at surface microlayer and subsurface water levels, to freshly emerge adult mosquitoes using multiplexed 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing”

Soil microbiome

From the Handelsman lab: Bloom of resident antibiotic-resistant bacteria in soil following manure fertilization – Nikolina Udikovic-Kolic – PNAS USA

“In this study, we found that dairy cow manure amendment enhanced the proliferation of resident antibiotic-resistant bacteria and genes encoding β-lactamases in soil even though the cows from which the manure was derived had not been treated with antibiotics. “

Niche-Partitioning of Edaphic Microbial Communities in the Namib Desert Gravel Plain Fairy Circles – Jean-Baptiste Ramond – PLOS ONE

“T-RFLP fingerprinting of the bacterial (16S rRNA gene) and fungal (ITS region) communities, in parallel with two-way crossed ANOSIM, showed that FC communities were significantly different to those of external control vegetated soil”

Temporal Changes in Soil Bacterial Diversity and Humic Substances Degradation in Subarctic Tundra Soil – Ha Ju Park – Microbial Ecology

“Culture-independent microbial community analysis showed that during the microcosm experiments, the relative abundance of phyla Proteobacteria (bacteria) and Euryarchaeota (archaea) largely increased, indicating their involvement in HS degradation. “

Water microbiome

Distinct patterns of marine bacterial communities in the South and North Pacific Oceans – Sung-Suk Suh – Journal of Microbiology

“In this study, 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing was used to investigate change in bacterial community structure between summer and winter water masses from Gosung Bay in the South Sea of Korea and Chuuk in Micronesia, located in the North and South Pacific Oceans, respectively.”

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Non-human microbiome digest, October 6, 2014

Microbiomes of cats with diabetes, vaginas of ewes and cows, chickens, hoopoes, Drosophila, sponges, plants, and subways.

Mammal Microbiome

* Faecal Microbiota of Cats with Insulin-Treated Diabetes Mellitus – Erin T. Bell – PLOS ONE

“Faecal samples were collected from insulin-treated diabetic and non-diabetic cats, and Illumina sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and quantitative PCR were performed on each sample. “

Characterization of the vaginal microbiota of ewes and cows reveals a unique microbiota with low levels of lactobacilli and near-neutral pH – JD Swartz, M Lachman, K Westveer, T O’Neill, T Geary – Frontiers in Veterinary Science

“We amplified and sequenced the V3-V4 region of the 16S ribosomal RNA contents yielding a total of 907,667 high-quality reads. “

Avian microbiome

The chicken gastrointestinal microbiome – Brian B. Oakley – FEMS Microbiology Letters

“In this mini-review, we provide an overview of the current state of knowledge of the chicken GI microbiome focusing on spatial and temporal variability, the presence and importance of human pathogens, the influence of the microbiota on the immune system, and the importance of the microbiome for poultry nutrition.”

Environmental Factors Shape the Community of Symbionts in the Hoopoe Uropygial Gland More than Genetic Factors – Magdalena Ruiz-Rodríguez – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

“By disentangling the diversity of bacterial strains from the uropygium of hoopoes (Upupa epops) due to genetic relatedness or to a common environment, we explored the importance of horizontal (from the environment) and vertical (from parents) acquisition of antimicrobial-producing symbionts in this species.”

Insect Microbiome

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

“Monoassociation with bacteria that ectopically expressed a predicted oxidoreductase or gluconate dehydrogenase conferred reduced Drosophila TAG contents relative to the TAG contents in empty vector controls.”

Invertebrate microbiome

* Microbial Communities and Bioactive Compounds in Marine Sponges of the Family Irciniidae—A Review – Cristiane C. P. Hardoim and Rodrigo Costa – Marine Drugs

“The structure of these symbiont assemblages is shaped by the sponge host and is highly stable over space and time. “

Plant microbiome

Microbial genome-enabled insights into plant–microorganism interactions – David Guttman, Alice C. McHardy & Paul Schulze-Lefert – Nature Reviews Genetics

“… culture-independent community profiling methods, coupled with metagenomic and metatranscriptomic studies, have provided the first insights into the emerging field of research on plant-associated microbial communities.”

Soil microbiome

Site- and horizon-specific patterns of microbial community structure and enzyme activities in permafrost-affected soils of Greenland – Antje Gittel – Frontiers in Microbiology

“We assessed microbial community structure and diversity (SSU rRNA gene tag sequencing, quantification of bacteria, archaea and fungi), and measured hydrolytic and oxidative enzyme activities.”

Water microbiome

Illuminating Microbial Dark Matter in Meromictic Sakinaw Lake – Esther A. Gies – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

“Here we describe diversity, abundance, and cooccurrence patterns of uncultivated microbial communities inhabiting the permanently stratified waters of meromictic Sakinaw Lake, British Columbia, Canada, using 454 sequencing of the small-subunit rRNA gene with three-domain resolution.”

Microbiome of the built environment

* Indoor-Air Microbiome in an Urban Subway Network: Diversity and Dynamics – Marcus H. Y. Leung – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

“Overall, subway lines harbored different phylogenetic communities based on α- and β-diversity comparisons, and closer inspection suggests that each community within a line is dependent on architectural characteristics, nearby outdoor microbiomes, and connectedness with other lines. “

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Non-human microbiome digest, October 2, 2014

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

Mammal microbiome

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bird microbiome

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

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

Insect microbiomes

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

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

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

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

Invertebrate microbiome

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

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

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

Plant microbiome

Plants prepackage beneficial microbes in their seeds – Phys.org

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

Cave microbiome

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

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

Soil and sediment microbiome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Water microbiome

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

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

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

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

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

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

Food microbiology

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

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

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

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

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Microbiome digest, September 24, 2014

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Today we will learn how to feed shit to flies, the gut microbes of Mexican monkeys, and soil microbes and climate change.

Human microbiome general

Microbes Central to Human Reproduction – Gregor Reid – American Journal of Reproductive Immunology

“A meeting of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics held in Aberdeen, Scotland (June 2014), presented new views and challenged established concepts on the role of microbes in reproduction and health of the mother and infant. “

Mammal microbiome

The role of gut microbes in satisfying the nutritional demands of adult and juvenile wild, black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) – Katherine R. Amato – American Journal of Physical Anthropology

“..we examined differences in activity budget, diet, and the gut microbial community among adult male .., adult female .., and juvenile .. wild black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) across a ten-month period in Palenque National Park, Mexico “

Soil microbiome

Incorporating Soil Microbes in Climate Change Models – Joe Turner – The Scientist

“Without a solid understanding of how the soil microbiome contributes to atmospheric carbon, researchers are struggling to determine whether dirt-dwelling bacteria could impact—and be impacted by—climate change.”

Metabolomics

Metabolomic profiles and childhood obesity – Wei Perng – Obesity

“Principal components analysis was used to consolidate 345 metabolites into 18 factors and identified two that differed between obese .. and lean children “

Microbes in the news

A beginners guide to feeding shit to flies – Edan Foley – Frontiers blog

“The title pretty much sums this one up”

Meet my Microbiome – An Introduction to the bacterial zoo hidden in my colon – Edan Foley – Frontiers blog

“As detailed in the previous blog post, I fed a solution of my feces to axenic flies this summer.“

Giving Chickens Bacteria … To Keep Them Antibiotic-Free – Dan Charles – NPR The Salt

“Poultry companies are turning to probiotics as an alternative to antibiotics, which have become increasingly controversial.”

 Three Girls Won The Google Science Fair With A Bacteria-Based Plan To Solve The Food Crisis – Jessica Orwig – Business Insider

“Three young girls won the Google science fair on September 22 with their innovative way to feed the world: treat plants with bacteria to help farmers grow more food, faster”

Honeybees healing bacteria: The antimicrobial properties of honey – Jeremiah Yarmie – The Manitoban

“A research group from Lund University in Sweden has been investigating bacteria found in the honey-producing stomach of bees. “

Science and publishing

The Top Eleven Ways to Tell that a Journal is Fake – Shaili Jain – PLOS Blogs

“If you have ever published a scholarly paper, your email inbox is probably peppered with invitations to submit papers to new journals with plausible-sounding names. “

Women in Science

When words fail: women, science, and women-in-science – Jacquelyn Gill – The Contemplative Mammoth

“I don’t want to write about women in science today. I want to write about glaciers, or passenger pigeons, or the way the tilt of the earth is making the squirrels outside my window stash acorns”

Gender balance among University Research Fellows – Paul Nurse – UK Royal Society

“It was a great day for the 43 scientists who were awarded grants but I, like many Fellows, was personally very disappointed to see that only two of them were women.”

Bik’s Picks

Fossil Dolphin Otekaikea marplesi (Latest Oligocene, New Zealand) Expands the Morphological and Taxonomic Diversity of Oligocene Cetaceans – Yoshihiro Tanaka – PLOS ONE

“The New Zealand fossil dolphin “Prosqualodon” marplesi (latest Oligocene, ≥23.9 Ma) is here identified as a crown odontocete that represents a new genus, Otekaikea”

Review: The design and function of birds’ nests – Mark C. Mainwaring – Ecology and Evolution

“the design of birds’ nests is far more sophisticated than previously realized and that nests are multifunctional structures that have important fitness consequences for the builder/s.”

False memories could be a side-effect of human ability to learn rules – Science Daily

“New research suggests that individuals who are particularly good at learning rules and classifying objects by common properties are also particularly prone to false memory illusions.”

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Microbiome digest, September 23, 2014

I don’t have much time tonight, so I’ll keep it short.

Pregnancy and birth

Homogeneity of the Vaginal Microbiome at the Cervix, Posterior Fornix, and Vaginal Canal in Pregnant Chinese Women – Yi-E Huang- Microbial Ecology

Impact of Feeding and Medical Practices on the Development of Necrotizing Enterocolitis – Brian L. Montenegro, Camilia R. Martin – Current Pediatrics Reports

Human respiratory microbiome

Expanding Our Understanding of Respiratory Microbiota in Cystic Fibrosis – John J. LiPuma – Annals of the American Thoracic Society

Microbiota in the throat and risk factors of laryngeal carcinoma – Hongli Gong – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Human gut microbiome

Membership and Behavior of Ultra-Low-Diversity Pathogen Communities Present in the Gut of Humans during Prolonged Critical Illness – Alexander Zaborin – mBio

The Overarching Influence of the Gut Microbiome on End-Organ Function: The Role of Live Probiotic Cultures – Luis Vitetta – Pharmaceuticals

Excretion of host DNA in feces is associated with risk of Clostridium difficile infection –  Caroline Vincent – Journal of Immunology Research

Animal and in vitro studies of human microbiome

Effect of Oral Administration of Metronidazole or Prednisolone on Fecal Microbiota in Dogs – Hirotaka Igarashi – PLOS ONE

Age and Microenvironment Outweigh Genetic Influence on the Zucker Rat Microbiome
Hannah Lees – PLOS ONE

A comparative evaluation of prebiotic oligosaccharides using in vitro cultures of infant fecal microbiome – J Stiverson – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Alterations in Ileal Mucosa Bacteria Related to Diet Complexity and Growth Performance in Young Pigs – Crystal L. Levesque – PLOS ONE

Mammal microbiome

Fecal microbial diversity and putative function in captive western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), Hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas), and binturongs (Arctictis binturong) – Erin A. McKenney – Integrative Zoology

Pathogenic Eukaryotes in Gut Microbiota of Western Lowland Gorillas as Revealed by Molecular Survey – Ibrahim Hamad – Scientific Reports

Insect microbiome

Routes of acquisition of the gut microbiota of Apis mellifera – J. Elijah Powell – Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Sponge microbiome

Symbiotic archaea in marine sponges show stability and host specificity in community structure and ammonia oxidation functionality – Fan Zhang – FEMS Microbiology Ecology
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1574-6941.12427/abstract

Plant microbiome

Comparison of root system architecture and rhizosphere microbial communities of Balsas teosinte and domesticated corn cultivars – Márton Szoboszlay – Soil Biology and Biochemistry

Micromonospora from nitrogen fixing nodules of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). A new promising Plant Probiotic Bacteria – Pilar Martínez-Hidalgo – Scientific Reports

Effects of Clonal Integration on Microbial Community Composition and Processes in the Rhizosphere of the Stoloniferous Herb Glechoma longituba (Nakai) Kuprian – Ningfei Lei – PLOS ONE

Soil type dependent effects of a potential biocontrol inoculant on indigenous bacterial communities in the rhizosphere of field-grown lettuce – Susanne Schreiter – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Soil microbiome

Culturable fungal assemblages growing within Cenococcum sclerotia in forest soils – Keisuke Obase – FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Food microbiology

Dynamic changes of the microbial communities during the preparation of traditional Tibetan Qula cheese – Bei Zhang – Dairy Science & Technology

Metabolomics / Functional metagenomics

Identification of Aminoglycoside and β-Lactam Resistance Genes from within an Infant Gut Functional Metagenomic Library – Fiona Fouhy – PLOS ONE

Mining the Metabiome: Identifying Novel Natural Products from Microbial Communities

Aleksandr Milshteyn, Jessica S. Schneider, Sean F. Brady – Chemistry & Biology

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

Impact of dietary polydextrose fiber on the human gut metabolome – Santosh Lamichhane – Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Preserving the earth’s microbes for drug discovery in the future – Ranjith N. Kumavath and Satyanarayana S.V – Journal of Microbiology and Microbial Research

Microbial Ecology

PNAS has a special issue this week on Biogeography (with the Panama forest trees paper by Jessica Green): The emergence and promise of functional biogeography – Cyrille Violle – PNAS

Active invasion of bacteria into living fungal cells – Nadine Moebius – eLife

Microbes in the news

Microbiome: You are never alone – John A Goldman – Atlanta Medicine

Seeking the Sweet Spot, from Mouth to Microbiome – David Katz – Huffington Post

New evidence suggests long-term relationships with bacteria begins before we’re born – Norbert Berzog and David Niesel – Galveston County Daily News

MIT Developing Ship-Repairing Bacteria – World Maritime News

Science and publishing

Anonymous peer-review comments may spark legal battle – Kelly Servick – Science

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Microbiome digest, September 22, 2014

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Temporal stability of the microbiomes of 85 adults, bacteria in breast milk, vaginal microbiome during pregnancy, water microbiomes, and Bik’s Picks.

Human microbiome general

Temporal variability is a personalized feature of the human microbiome – Gilberto E Flores – PeerJ PrePrints

“Here we address this gap in understanding by profiling the forehead, gut (fecal), palm, and tongue microbial communities in 85 adults, weekly over three months.”

Pregnancy and birth

It’s Alive: Microbes and Cells in Human Milk and Their Potential Benefits to Mother and Infant – Lars Bode – Advances in Nutrition

“This article is a summary of the symposium “It’s Alive: Microbes and Cells in Human Milk and Their Potential Benefits to Mother and Infant” held 29 April 2014 at the ASN Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2014 in San Diego, CA.”

Microorganisms in the Female Genital Tract during Pregnancy: Tolerance versus Pathogenesis – Bruna de Andrade Ramos – American Journal of Reproductive Immunology

“We review the state of knowledge of microbe–host interactions in gestational tissues and highlight mechanisms that promote tolerance or pathogenesis.”

Determinants and pattern of care seeking for preterm newborns in a rural Bangladeshi cohort – Rashed Shah – BMC Health Services Research

“Only one-fifth (19.7%) of preterm newborns were taken to seek either preventive or curative health care.”

Human oral microbiome

Microbial signature profiles of periodontally healthy and diseased patients – Talita Gomes Baêta Lourenço – Journal of Clinical Periodontology

“Subgingival biofilm was obtained from patients with periodontal health (27), gingivitis (11), chronic periodontitis (35) and aggressive periodontitis (24), and analysed for the presence of >250 species/phylotypes using HOMIM.”

Human gut microbiome

Review: Modulation of the Gut Microbiota by Nutrients with Prebiotic and Probiotic Properties – Céline Druart – Advances in Nutrition

“In this review, we describe how changes in the composition and/or activity of the gut microbiota by administration of nutrients with probiotic or prebiotic properties can modulate host gene expression and metabolism and thereby positively influence host adipose tissue development and related metabolic disorders.”

Mammal microbiome

Resistance to Antibiotics of Clinical Relevance in the Fecal Microbiota of Mexican Wildlife – Jurgi Cristóbal-Azkarate – PLOS ONE

“Here, we used culture and molecular methods to assess ATBR in bacteria in fecal samples from howler monkeys, spider monkeys, tapirs and felids living freely in two regions of the Mexican state of Veracruz under different degrees of human influence.“

Bird microbiome

Do feather-degrading bacteria actually degrade feather colour? No significant effects of plumage microbiome modifications on feather colouration in wild great tits – Staffan Jacob – Naturwissenschaften

“Here, we tested whether (i) keratinolytic microorganisms can degrade feathers in vivo and thus modify the colour of feathers during the nesting period and (ii) whether feather microorganisms have a long-term effect on the investment in colouration of newly moulted feathers.”

Plant microbiome

Impact of swapping soils on the endophytic bacterial communities of pre-domesticated, ancient and modern maize – David Johnston-Monje – BMC Plant Biology

“The impact of these soil swaps on founder bacterial endophyte communities was tested using 16S-rDNA profiling, culturing and microbial trait phenotyping.“

Microbiota in Wheat Roots, Rhizosphere and Soil in Crops Grown in Organic and Other Production Systems – Leszek Lenc – Journal of Phytopathology

“The other two systems were intermediate, with microbial communities suggesting that the conventional system produced a slightly more suppressive environment than the integrated system. “

Soil microbiome

Bacterial and Archaeal Communities in Bleached Mottles of Tropical Podzols –
K. J. Silva, P. Vidal-Torrado, M. R. Lambais – Microbial Ecology

“In this study, we examined the bacterial and archaeal communities along three Brazilian coastal podzol profiles, as well as in bleached mottles and their immediate vicinity, using 16S rRNA gene profiling.”

Water microbiome

Microplastic is an abundant and distinct microbial habitat in an urban river – Amanda McCormick – Environmental Science & Technology

“Results from high-throughput sequencing showed that bacterial assemblages colonizing microplastic within the river were less diverse and were significantly different in taxonomic composition compared to those from the water column and suspended organic matter.”

Application of Ion Torrent Sequencing to the Assessment of the Effect of Alkali Ballast Water Treatment on Microbial Community Diversity – Masanori Fujimoto – PLOS ONE

“The impact of NaOH as a ballast water treatment (BWT) on microbial community diversity was assessed using the 16S rRNA gene based Ion Torrent sequencing with its new 400 base chemistry.”

Microbial diversity of the Soldhar hot spring, India, assessed by analyzing 16S rRNA and protein-coding genes – Avinash Sharma – Annals of Microbiology

“Bacterial diversity of the Soldhar hot spring, located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India, was investigated using a clone library, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and functional genes.”

Microbial community composition and in silico predicted metabolic potential reflect biogeochemical gradients between distinct peatland types – Zuzana Urbanová and Jiří Bárta – FEMS Microbial Ecology

“Species richness and microbial diversity increased significantly from bog to fen, with SSF in between, reflecting the variation in pH, nutrient availability and peat decomposability. “

A molecular survey of freshwater microeukaryotes in an Arctic reservoir (Svalbard, 79°N) in summer by using next-generation sequencing – Thangavelu Boopathi – Polar Biology

“In this study, freshwater microeukaryotes in an Arctic reservoir at Ny-Ǻlesund (Svalbard, Norway) were studied using the hypervariable V1–V3 small subunit rRNA and 454 pyrosequencing.”

Built Environment

Urban microbiomes and urban ecology: How do microbes in the built environment affect human sustainability in cities? – Gary M. King – Journal of Microbiology

“I provide here a definition of the urban microbiome, and through examples indicate its centrality to human function and wellbeing in urban systems”

Phages and viruses

Metagenomic Evaluation of the Highly Abundant Human Gut Bacteriophage CrAssphage for Source Tracking of Human Fecal Pollution – Elyse Stachler and Kyle Bibby – Environmental Science & Technology

“Here, 86 publically available metagenomes were surveyed to determine the presence and abundance of crAssphage in various environments, and to identify its utility for source tracking of human fecal pollution.”

Microbes in the news

Understanding the Microbiome and Its Impact on Human Health – Kristine Nally – HCPLive

“Instant polling at an educational session of the 2014 American Academy of Pain Management annual clinical meeting in Phoenix, AZ, revealed that only 40 percent of the approximately 350-person audience was “familiar” with the concept of a microbiome.”

Mining the microbiome for medicines – Set a thief… – The Economist

“Antibiotics are not the only things Dr Donia’s technique might turn up, for the bugs in the human microbiome spit out all sorts of other chemicals that could potentially be put to use as drugs.”

Techniques

Comparative Analysis of Functional Metagenomic Annotation and the Mappability of Short Reads – Rogan Carr and Elhanan Borenstein – MicroBEnet

“We therefore set out to develop a set of ‘best practices’ for our lab for metagenomic sequence annotation and to prove (or disprove) quantitatively that such direct functional annotation of short reads provides a valid functional representation of the sample.”

Science and publishing

Anonymous peer-review comments may spark legal battle – Kelly Servick – Science Insider

“The power of anonymous comments—and the liability of those who make them—is at the heart of a possible legal battle embroiling PubPeer, an online forum launched in October 2012 for anonymous, postpublication peer review.”

Time to Raise the Profile of Women and Minorities in Science – Brian Welle and Megan Smith – Scientific American

“Along these lines, over the past few years, we discovered some pretty ugly news about our beloved Google Doodles. “

Bik’s Picks

Immune system of newborn babies stronger than previously thought – Science Daily

“Contrary to what was previously thought, newborn immune T cells may have the ability to trigger an inflammatory response to bacteria, according to a new study.”

The Preservation Of Lonesome George – Sarah Fecht – PopSci.com

“Decades after the last giant tortoise was thought to have disappeared from the island of Pinta in the Galapagos, Lonesome George turned up in 1971 and became a conservation icon.”

 Great white sharks partly to blame for otter recovery stall – Peter Fimrite – SF Gate

“Most scientists agree that the number of animals, which are also known as southern sea otters, should be increasing, but hungry predators and a lack of food may be limiting their growth.”

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