Microbiome digest, September 17, 2014


Human gut microbiome and artificial sweeteners, cholera recovery, or ancient coprolites, protbiotics and the brain, coastal soil, diversity and science, metabolomics, and Bik’s Picks.
Human gut microbiome

Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota – Jotham Suez – Nature

“We identify NAS-altered microbial metabolic pathways that are linked to host susceptibility to metabolic disease, and demonstrate similar NAS-induced dysbiosis and glucose intolerance in healthy human subjects.”

Members of the human gut microbiota involved in recovery from Vibrio cholerae infection – Ansel Hsiao – Nature

“We find that recovery is characterized by a pattern of accumulation of bacterial taxa that shows similarities to the pattern of assembly/maturation of the gut microbiota in healthy Bangladeshi children”

Paleomicrobiology: Revealing Fecal Microbiomes of Ancient Indigenous Cultures – Raul J. Cano – PLOS ONE

“We analyzed human coprolites from the Huecoid and Saladoid cultures from a settlement on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.”

Animal models of microbiome research

Modulation of Intestinal Microbiota by the Probiotic VSL#3 Resets Brain Gene Expression and Ameliorates the Age-Related Deficit in LTP – Eleonora Distrutti – PLOS ONE

“Here, we report that treatment of aged rats with VSL#3 induced a robust change in the composition of intestinal microbiota with an increase in the abundance of Actinobacteria and Bacterioidetes, which was reduced in control-treated aged rats.”

Soil microbiome

Unravelling the Carbon and Sulphur Metabolism in Coastal Soil Ecosystems Using Comparative Cultivation-Independent Genome-Level Characterisation of Microbial Communities – Basit Yousuf – PLOS ONE

“Distinct compositional differences were observed among the clone libraries, which revealed a dominance of phylotypes associated with carbon and sulphur cycling”


Partition Enrichment of Nucleotide Sequences (PINS) – A Generally Applicable, Sequence Based Method for Enrichment of Complex DNA Samples – Thomas Kvist, Line Sondt-Marcussen, Marie Just Mikkelsen – PLOS ONE

“The present paper describes a new method, Probability directed Isolation of Nucleic acid Sequences (PINS), for enrichment of DNA, enabling the sequencing of a large DNA region surrounding a small known sequence. “


Of Monkeys and Men: A Metabolomic Analysis of Static and Dynamic Urinary Metabolic Phenotypes in Two Species – Edoardo Saccenti – PLOS ONE

“we show that despite the standardization of diet as the most relevant extrinsic factor, a clear individual and discriminative metabolic fingerprint also exists for monkeys.”

Science and Career

Diversity: Pride in science – M Mitchell Waldrop – Nature

“The sciences can be a sanctuary for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, but biases may still discourage many from coming out.”

Bik’s Picks

Only 4 of them are women…. – The top 50 science stars of Twitter – Jia You – Science

“Though Hall says he meant his K-index lightheartedly, his article in Genome Biology sparked a Twitter storm of criticism. So just who are the Kardashians of science, and is Hall’s criticism justified?”

Breast milk reveals a correlation between dietary fats and academic success – Science Daily

“You are what you eat, the saying goes, and now a study conducted by researchers at UC Santa Barbara and the University of Pittsburgh suggests that the oft-repeated adage applies not just to physical health but to brain power as well.”

Forensic science solves mystery of Richard III’s death (the parking-lot king) –  Agata Blaszczak-Boxe – CBS News

“More than 500 years after Richard III became the last king of England to die in battle, researchers using modern forensic science have figured out which injuries likely caused his death.”