Fungi That Live in the Gut Influence Health and Disease

Bacteria’s role in gut health has received a lot of attention in recent years. But new research publishing in Nature shows that fungi—another microorganism that lives within us—may be equally important in health and disease. Fungi thrive in the healthy gut, but when interactions with the immune system are off-balance, they cause intestinal damage that may contribute to gastrointestinal disease. Additional investigation demonstrate that vaccines could be developed as therapeutics to improve gut health.

Studying how microbiome affects immunity could improve vaccine effectiveness

A new grant will help Iowa State University researchers figure out how the microbiome, or all the microorganisms that live inside and on human systems, affects immunity and the effectiveness of vaccines. Not everyone responds to vaccines in identical ways, and the researchers will search for ways humans can adjust their microbiomes to optimize vaccine response.

New Cleveland Clinic Research Identifies Link Between Gut Microbes and Stroke

New findings from Cleveland Clinic researchers show for the first time that the gut microbiome impacts stroke severity and functional impairment following stroke. The results, published in Cell Host & Microbe, lay the groundwork for potential new interventions to help treat or prevent stroke. The research was led by Weifei Zhu, Ph.D., and Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D., of Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute.

Global Study Finds Each City Has Unique Microbiome Fingerprint of Bacteria and Viruses

Each city has its own unique microbiome, a “fingerprint” of viruses and bacteria that uniquely identify it, according to a new study from an international consortium of researchers that included a team from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). The international project, which sequenced and analyzed samples collected from public transit systems and hospitals in 60 cities around the world, was published today in the journal Cell.

Meeting Preview: Hot Topics at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE

Reporters and bloggers are invited to join top nutrition researchers and practitioners for a dynamic virtual program at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE. The flagship meeting of the American Society for Nutrition runs June 7–10, 2021 and features research announcements, expert discussions and more.

Epitranscriptomics, Xenobiotic Nuclear Receptors, Arsenic Exposure, and More Featured in May 2021 Toxicological Sciences

Research on biomarkers, carcinogenesis, regulatory science, and more is available in the latest issue of Toxicological Sciences.

Burning the Forest, Not Just the Trees

Wildfires affect both the visible parts of plants and the plant microbiome. Understanding these effects helps scientists mitigate the effects of wildfires. This research examined microbial DNA samples from tissues of young quaking aspen saplings after a prescribed burn. Aspen relies largely on fire to regenerate. This work demonstrates that fire affects the entire plant microbiome, not just nearby soil.

Mount Sinai researchers discover multiple types of DNA methylation from individual bacteria and microbiome using nanopore sequencing

MEDIA ADVISORY   – UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL Monday, April 5 at 11:00 AM EST Journal Name:  Nature Methods Title of the Article: Discovering multiple types of DNA methylation from individual bacteria and microbiome using nanopore sequencing Corresponding Author:  Gang Fang, PhD…

Weizmann Scientists Find That Bacteria May Aid Anti-Cancer Immune Response

The Weizmann Institute’s Prof. Yardena Samuels, Prof. Eran Segal, and Dr. Ravid Straussman, with partners at MD Anderson Cancer Center, the NCI, and elsewhere, have discovered that the bacteria living inside cancer cells can be harnessed to provoke an immune reaction against the tumor. The work could also help explain findings showing that the microbiome affects the success of immunotherapy.

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.

Antibiotics for C-sections Effective After Umbilical Cord Clamped

Antibiotics for cesarean section births are just as effective when they’re given after the umbilical cord is clamped as before clamping – the current practice – and could benefit newborns’ developing microbiomes, according to Rutgers co-authored research. The study, by far the largest of its kind and published in the journal Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, challenges current recommendations for antibiotic use. Administering antibiotics after clamping does not increase the risk of infection at the site of C-section incisions, the study concludes.

Microbes in dental plaque look more like relatives in soil than those on the tongue

A new study out of UChicago and the Marine Biological Laboratory used state-of-the-art sequencing technology to deep-screen the genomes of microbes known as TM7 present in the mouth. This approach determined that TM7 species living on the tongue more closely resembled those found in the GI tract, while TM7 species in dental plaque more closely resembled environmental species, providing a hint at how plaque may have played a role in microbial colonization of the body.

How and why microbes promote and protect against stress

The bacteria, yeast and viruses that make up the human microbiome affect physical health, behavior and emotions. Some microbes in the human microbiome prosper when the body is under stress, while other microbes contribute to buffering the body against stress. Evolutionary theory suggests reciprocal relationships between microbes in the human body and stress; these relationships can possibly be harnessed to promote physical and mental health.

Hydrogen peroxide keeps gut bacteria away from the colon lining

An enzyme in the colon lining releases hydrogen peroxide – a known disinfecting compound- to protect the body from gut microbial communities. Findings from the UC Davis Health study points to importance of considering a different approach to treating gut inflammation and bacterial imbalance in the colon.

Gut Microbiome Manipulation Could Result from Virus Discovery

Scientists have discovered how a common virus in the human gut infects and takes over bacterial cells – a finding that could be used to control the composition of the gut microbiome, which is important for human health. The Rutgers co-authored research, which could aid efforts to engineer beneficial bacteria that produce medicines and fuels and clean up pollutants, is published in the journal Nature.

Antibiotic Exposure in Children Under Age 2 Associated with Chronic Conditions

Children under age 2 who take antibiotics are at greater risk for childhood-onset asthma, respiratory allergies, eczema, celiac disease, obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a paper written jointly by Mayo Clinic and Rutgers researchers. While previous studies have looked at the association of antibiotics with single diseases, this is the first to look at the association across many diseases.

Uncovering Novel Genomes from Earth’s Microbiomes

Reported in Nature Biotechnology, the known diversity of bacteria and archaea has been expanded by 44% through a publicly available collection of more than 52,000 microbial genomes from environmental samples resulting from a JGI-led collaboration involving more than 200 scientists around the world.

Study Provides First Evidence of a Relationship between a Bird’s Gut and its Brain

A study of the relationships between cognition and the gut microbiome of captive zebra finches showed that their gut microbiome characteristics were related to performance on a cognitive assay where they learned a novel foraging technique. Researchers also identified potentially critical bacteria that were relatively more abundant in birds that performed better on this assay. This correlation provides some of the first evidence of a relationship between a bird’s gut microbiome and its brain.

Surprising Players in Acute Liver Failure Point to Potential Treatment, Weizmann Institute Scientists Find

Liver failure – often due to acetaminophen overdose – is fatal in 80% of cases. The labs of Profs. Ido Amit and Eran Elinav discovered three liver-cell subsets that contribute to disease progression, and found that depleting the microbiome acts on those subsets to reduce liver damage and increase survival rates. The research may lead to treatments for liver failure.

‘Honey bee, it’s me’

For a honey bee, few things are more important than recognizing your nestmates. Being able to tell a nestmate from an invader could mean the difference between a honey-stocked hive and a long, lean winter. New research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that honey bees rely on chemical cues related to their shared gut microbial communities, instead of genetic relatedness, to identify members of their colony.

University of Chicago genomics researcher receives prestigious NIH New Innovator Award

Oni Basu, PhD, an assistant professor of genetic medicine at the University of Chicago, has received the prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award. These awards are given to exceptionally creative scientists proposing high-risk, high-impact research at all career stages.

Preeminent researcher leading largest prospective, multi-trail COVID studies in U.S. and first ever clinical investigation on potential COVID-microbiome connection

Why do some people have severe reactions to COVID whereas others do not? Are there overlooked or unexplained factors in how people respond to the COVID virus connected to their gut microbiome? Could microbiome predict the severity of illness among those exposed to the virus?

Webinar Series on the Gut-Brain Axis and the Microbiome

There is currently much interest in the gastrointestinal microbiota and its modulation as it relates to implications for host health. A notable aspect is the bidirectional communication between the gut microbiota and brain, referred to as the gut-brain-axis. Nutritional interventions have powerful effects on the gut microbiota but another significant and often overlooked factor is the influence of physical activity.