Gut microbes may lead to therapies for mental illness, UTSW researcher reports

The role of the microbiome in intestinal and systemic health has garnered close attention among researchers for many years. Now evidence is mounting that this collection of microorganisms in the human gut can also impact a person’s neurological and emotional health, according to a recent perspective article in Science by a UT Southwestern researcher.

“Intestinal Microflora” as Health Indicator, A National-level Research Project by Chula Doctors in Response to Problems of an Aging Society

Chula’s Faculty of Medicine pioneers Thailand’s first research work that studies “Intestinal Microflora Microbiome of the Aged” which gathers basic information at the national level to unlock the relationship between the wellness of the aged and intestinal microflora that can predict risks of diseases and health and the population’s wellbeing.

Gut Check

At a glance:

Researchers identify links between genetic makeup of bacteria in human gut and several human diseases

Clusters of bacterial genes present in conditions including cardiovascular illness, inflammatory bowel disease, liver cirrhosis, and cancer

Work brings scientist closer to developing tests that could predict disease risk or identify disease presence based on a sampling of the genetic makeup of a person’s microbiome

Science Snapshots From Berkeley Lab

These news briefs cover topics including gut microbes, tsetse flies in 3D, an energy use framework for heating and cooling, and new gravitational lensing candidates.

Next-Generation Risk Assessment, Antimicrobials, and More Featured in July 2020 Toxicological Sciences

Published in this month’s edition of Toxicological Sciences are articles on biotransformation, toxicokinetics, and pharmacokinetics; developmental and reproductive toxicology; nanotoxicology; and more.

Scientists Explore Links Between Genetics, Gut Microbiome and Memory

Scientists have traced the molecular connections between genetics, the gut microbiome and memory in a mouse model bred to resemble the diversity of the human population. Researchers from two U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories identified lactate, a molecule produced by all species of one gut microbe, as a key memory-boosting molecular messenger.

A MOTHER’S BUGS

-Newborn mice derive protective antibodies from their mothers’ microbiota
-Antibodies derived from mothers’ microbiota ward off both localized and widespread systemic infections by the bacterium E. coli
-Study points to the role of maternal microbes in offspring protection and neonatal immunity
-Findings can inform development of microbe-based therapies against infectious diarrhea in infants

Gut microbes alter characteristics of norovirus infection

The highly contagious norovirus causes diarrhea and vomiting and is notorious for spreading rapidly through densely populated spaces, such as cruise ships, nursing homes, schools and day care centers. There are no treatments for this intestinal virus. A new study led by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has shown that gut microbes can tamp down or boost the severity of norovirus infection based on where along the intestine the virus takes hold.