Pause for station identification

As I am sort of feeling my brain starting to reactivate my writing muscles, I thought now would be a good time for a station identification. No need to panic. I’ve done this before. This is my 10th pause for station identification on this site since the first one in March 2005 (and #10 seemed like an interesting […]

“Welcome to the Post-Pasteurian Age” (my HealthFOO Ignite talk that never happened)

I was blessed with an invitation to HealthFOO this year, here in nearby Cambridge. Alas, the event was cancelled due to the intense events after the Boston Marathon. But not only was I bummed out that I wasn’t going to spend a fun weekend with follow health enthusiasts, but I also had to cancel my […]

Saturday morning thoughts on the evolutionary history of IBD in Eastern European Jews

Of course, as is usual with me on the weekend, I started reading all my open tabs in my browser. And the first one I read was a paper where they crossed two pure strains of mice and correlated microbiome and genome. Link: PLoS ONE: Murine Gut Microbiota Is Defined by Host Genetics and Modulates […]

Another article on “Patterns of Early Gut Colonization Shape Future Immune Responses of the Host” in PLoS ONE

“In conclusion, a time window exists that enables the artificial colonization of GF mice by a single oral dose of caecal content, which may modify the future immune phenotype of the host. Moreover, delayed microbial colonization of the gut causes permanent changes in the immune system.” Ok. So there’s mounting evidence that rapid colonization of […]

Gut microbes and immunity: The hygiene hypothesis, peak antibiotics, and the post-Pasteurian Age

“Exposure to microbes during early childhood is associated with protection from immune-mediated diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and asthma. Here, we show that, in germ-free (GF) mice, invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells accumulate in the colonic lamina propria and lung, resulting in increased morbidity in models of IBD and allergic asthma compared […]

International Human Microbe Program Looks Ahead – ScienceInsider

Indeed, Sharp said at the meeting, patients who come to Cleveland Clinic for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease express their own concerns about such approaches, which could include the use of probiotics, the consumption of live microorganisms, to treat intestinal and other maladies. “Many patients are worried about manipulating their gut microbiota,” Sharp said, adding […]

Bacterial genomics: A new source of antimicrobial targets : Nature Reviews Microbiology

“Bacterial clone-based genome sequencing frequently results in gaps, which harbour hypothetical genes of unknown function. Sorek and colleagues show that these gaps contain a vast array of genes encoding proteins that are toxic to the sequencing host (Escherichia coli), including previously uncharacterized restriction enzymes, toxin–antitoxin systems and non-coding RNAs.” Of course, to me, this is […]

Influence of Milk-Feeding Type and Genetic Risk of Developing Coeliac Disease on Intestinal Microbiota of Infants: The PROFICEL Study

“This study demonstrates that the milk-feeding type and the HLA-DQ genotype differently influence the bacterial colonization pattern of the newborn intestine during the first 4 months of life and, therefore, could also influence the risk of developing CD in later life. Breast-feeding reduced the genotype-related differences in microbiota composition, which could partly explain the protective […]

Hacking yogurt

As a card carrying practical microbiologist, I like making yogurt – cheap and easy to make and very good for your tummy (see here for more on yogurt and a recipe you can use). But I admit I’m not too adventurous: the most I do is try different cultures, flavors, or milks (latest was goat […]

Session: The Earth Microbiome Project: Modeling the Microbial Planet (2012 AAAS Annual Meeting (16-20 February 2012))

“The Earth Microbiome Project (EMP) is the most ambitious attempt to provide a systematic characterization of the microbial world that dominates this planet. The ecosystem services provided by microbes in every environment (including the human body) are fundamental to the survival of life on this planet and the continued economic and physical health of the […]