Microbiome and Germ-Free INSIGHTS

The Next Ten Years of Microbiome Research

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Source: Proctor1 The Human Microbiome Project's former Program Coordinator, Lita Proctor, set out priorities for the next ten years of human microbiome research in a wide-ranging article for Nature1. She also provides reflections on the completed Human Microbiome Project that helped jump-start microbiome research in the US and beyond. In the past ten years microbiome research has consumed more than $1.7B (USD). More than $1B has come...  Read More

FDA Issues Safety Alert on Investigational Use of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation

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Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is the transfer of fecal matter from a healthy individual into a recipient with the goal of treating an ailment. In its simplest form FMT has been used to treat disease with reports detailing its use as far back as 1700 years ago in China1. Modern applications of this procedure have been developed to treat Clostridium difficile infections, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome...  Read More

World Microbiome Day 2019

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World Microbiome Day is on June 27th this year. World Microbiome Day began in 2018 to demonstrate its emergence as a subject with global impact. That impact is being felt across a variety of disciplines including science, medicine, and nutrition. "World Microbiome Day aims to showcase the vibrant and diverse worlds of microbiomes, and to encourage public dialogue on their critical importance to human, animal and environmental...  Read More

Transportation Affects Gut Microbiome of Laboratory Mice

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Experimental controls are at the center of every quality experiment, and understanding the causes of microbiome variability is key to controlling for microbiome-related effects. Researchers that utilize murine models attempt to control for possible microbiome variability by ordering mice from the same vendor, using littermate controls, and employing co-housing strategies1. Given the ongoing research reproducibility crisis, it is vital to understand potential factors that contribute to microbiome...  Read More

How Antibiotics Affect Your Microbiome

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The human gut microbiome is a complex, highly-evolved commensal community with an integral role in your response to disease and how well you maintain homeostasis. While commensal bacteria vary from person to person, a person's specific microbiome should contain the same relative percentage of bacterial species over their lifespan. The balance of this community can be altered for weeks, months, and even years depending on diet, environmental...  Read More

Do you know what's in your water?

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Most researchers know the pain of trying and failing to replicate a published experiment. This can result from something as simple as a poorly written methods section, in which important experimental details have been omitted. Barnett and Gibson recently called out the importance of an in vivo experimental detail that is commonly left out and could alter the experimental performance of your research animals: subtle differences in...  Read More

Depression and the Microbiome

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New research is regularly being published on the connection between the gut microbiome and the central nervous system (CNS) — together known as the gut-brain axis. Alterations in the composition of intestinal microbiota have also been associated with antibiotic use and the progression of infectious diseases. Historically, we have reported on the link between Parkinson's disease and the microbiome, how high salt diets may alter the microbiome,...  Read More

Rederivation of Mouse Models at Higher Health Statuses

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Rederiving murine research models is the process of transferring embryos from one animal into another which is either germ-free or hosts only specifically identified microbiota. This "resets" the health status of the line, allowing the offspring of mice or rats that were previously infected with either viruses, parasites, or bacteria to be used in research studies. This article will review the process of rederiving a mouse line...  Read More

Bacteria Making Headlines in 2018

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In the last few months, multiple bacterial species have been making headlines. This review will outline three types of bacteria and how specific strains may prevent or encourage the development of bacterial infections. I) Escherichia coli (E. coli) The strain that is undoubtedly the most familiar to the general public is E. coli. Once again, romaine lettuce has been abandoned by supermarkets and restaurants as per advice...  Read More

2019 Microbiome Conferences

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Looking for a microbiome conference or workshop? Here are some upcoming sessions we'll be following with interest. 2019 Microbiome Conferences: More Specific as Field Matures The Translational Microbiome Research Forum (TMRF) lists thirty-six 2019 conferences so far, and updates their Events page upon announcement of new meetings. While the majority (72%) of microbiome conferences in 2018 were of general interest, 2019 events are much more focused on...  Read More