Microbiome and Germ-Free INSIGHTS

Non-Antibiotic Drugs Impact the Human Gut Microbiota

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A new study in Nature, published in March 2018, revealed novel potential adverse effects of a broad variety of marketed drugs. The researchers found that many drugs designed to target human cells and not microbes could inhibit the growth of different intestinal bacterial strains. This suggests that these drugs can alter the gut microbiota, in turn leading to adverse effects on human health. The study was an...  Read More

Gender-Dependent Impacts of Herbicides on the Microbiome

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It is heavily debated whether the use of the weedkiller glyphosate in agriculture and gardening can induce dysbiosis of the gut microbiota, negatively affecting human and animal health. Dysbiosis is an imbalance in the microbiome composition associated with conditions such as colitis, metabolic syndrome, allergies, and more. Herbicides and the Microbiome We recently highlighted new Danish research showing that pure glyphosate and commercial formulations of glyphosate (e.g....  Read More

Microbiome Cycles Revealed by Low-Cost Gnotobiotic Cages

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While developing a low-cost alternative to traditional gnotobiotic isolators, a team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) were able to characterize cyclical changes in the microbiomes of gnotobiotic mice. Their research has implications for both the design and affordability of gnotobiotic animal model research. High Cost of Gnotobiotic Isolators Isolators are the gold standard for rearing germ-free mice, but it is sometimes difficult to justify...  Read More

Mice with Horse Microbiota Validate Health Promoting Diet for Foals

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Photo courtesy of F. Lindenberg Animal feed retailer Brogaarden recently launched a new prebiotic diet for foals that can reduce the risk of developing conditions such as Equine Metabolic Syndrome and colitis later in life. The diet works by promoting beneficial gut bacteria, such as Akkermansia muciniphila, in turn inducing regulatory immunity in the foals. The diet's effects were scientifically demonstrated by Industrial PhD Student Frederikke Lindenberg,...  Read More

The Effect of Gut Bacteria on Bone Health Cannot be Generalized

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Previously, a number of different studies using germ-free (GF) mice have indicated that the gut microbiota regulates bone density. However, the results have been conflicting. Reports demonstrate both beneficial and detrimental effects of the microbiota on bone health. A new study published in mSphere in January 2018 positions itself right in between the conflicting previous studies. The researchers demonstrated no effect of different human and murine microbiotas...  Read More

2018 Microbiome Conferences

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Looking for a microbiome meeting or conference to attend in 2018? The Translational Microbiome Research Forum (TMRF) lists thirty-two 2018 conferences, so far, and updates their event page upon announcement of new meetings. A quick survey of the events shows eighteen taking place in the US or Canada, twelve in Europe and Israel, and two in Singapore. Twenty-six of these microbiome conferences are general-interest forums, focusing on...  Read More

Microbiome Articles in the Top 5 of Articles Read in 2017

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The Translational Scientist Journal announced the top 5 articles of 2017 from their publication. Two of the five articles examine the microbiome; further supporting its stature in life sciences research. Microbiome research continues to be a popular discussion topic for articles, conferences, and in the lay press. One of the microbiome focused articles is Exploring the Microbiome — with Mice. Taconic Biosciences' Director of Microbiome Products and...  Read More

Does Roundup® Residue on Food Impact your Microbiome?

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The herbicide glyphosate (Roundup® and other tradenames) works by inhibiting synthesis of aromatic amino acids in the shikimate pathway, which is active in plants as well as bacteria, but not in mammalian species. Thus while glyphosate cannot adversely affect humans via its primary mode of action, the possibility that it could affect the bacteria of the human microbiome exists. Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark and...  Read More

Gut Microbiome and the Efficacy of Cancer Immunotherapy

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Two new studies in humans published in Science in November 2017 support previous findings in mice: that response to cancer therapy is dependent on the gut microbiome1,2. This opens the possibility for researchers to explore deliberate exploitation of the microbiome in improving the efficacy of cancer therapy. While checkpoint inhibitors have been a great leap forward in the treatment of certain cancer types, only a limited portion...  Read More

Webinar Review: How to Harness the Microbiome

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Rodent model microbiomes introduce confounding effects in an alarming range of study endpoints. In a recent webinar, Aaron Ericsson, Research Assistant Professor and Director of Metagenomics at the University of Missouri, reviewed emerging best practices to identify and control for relevant microbiota, improving the accuracy and reproducibility of your preclinical research. Dr. Ericsson discussed topics ranging from how the microbiome contributes to experimental variability and reproducibility to...  Read More