Microbiome and Germ-Free INSIGHTS

Microbial Metabolism of Bile Acids Contributes to Immunological Balance in the Colon

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Regulatory T (Treg) lymphocytes play an essential role in maintaining homeostasis of the immune system. Characterized by expression of the forkhead box transcription factor (Foxp3), populations of Tregs are divided into two subsets: thymus-derived, or natural Treg cells (nTreg), peripheral Treg cells (pTreg), or induced Treg cells that arise extrathymically1. Both subsets work to maintain immune balance by limiting excessive effector responses and providing immune tolerance to...  Read More

Mouse Behavior Impacts the Composition of the Small Intestinal Microbiome and Bile Acid Profile

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Mice remain the most utilized animal model within microbiome research. The advantages of using mouse models are clear with regard to homogenous genetics, accessibility to germ-free, mutant and/or transgenic models, a comparable physiology and the relatively low cost of performing studies. In addition, the use of mouse models has been key in landmark studies determining the role of the gut microbiota in various diseases. Despite the clear...  Read More

The Complex Role of the Gut Microbiome in Human Wellness and Disease

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Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya constitute the most abundant part of the biosphere, including the plants and animals most familiar to most and an invisible world of organisms that many never consider. Although these microbes were known to exist, their diversity and functional significance within our world has not always been fully appreciated. The entire community of microorganisms that inhabit a single environment is known as a microbiome....  Read More

Webinar Q&A — Microbiological Monitoring of Germ-Free and Gnotobiotic Colonies

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Dr. Paula Roesch recently presented a webinar on microbiological monitoring of germ-free and gnotobiotic colonies. Taconic Biosciences has decades of experience in this area and Dr. Roesch presented a thorough look at all aspects of the process, starting from tools and approaches to process validation and monitoring and moving into isolator monitoring techniques. She even included lessons learned from a case study where things didn't go as...  Read More

2020 Microbiome Conferences

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Please see the Translational Microbiome Research Forum's Events for updated information regarding meeting cancellations and changes Looking for a microbiome conference or workshop? 2020 looks to be a banner year for microbiome conferences. Here are some upcoming sessions we'll be following with interest. 2020 Microbiome Conferences The Translational Microbiome Research Forum (TMRF) is still among the best options for finding microbiome-related events and workshops. They list over...  Read More

Webinar Q&A — Controlling the Macroenvironment: A Novel Approach to Germ-free Derivations

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Dr. Cristina Weiner recently presented a webinar featuring a novel approach to germ-free derivations. She discussed the importance of understanding baseline performance and making incremental process improvements as well as how Taconic Biosciences developed and implemented a new facility design which supports improved germ-free derivation success. We present the full webinar Q&A here. Dr. Cristina Weiner: While recognizing that the germ-free integrity of the animal is most...  Read More

Genetic Background of Mice Influences Microbiome

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Source: Graphical Abstract. Khan et al., 20191 The microbiome continues to be an important topic in both human health research and in popular culture. The microbiome is cited as a factor in multiple diseases, neurological conditions, and immune responses to foreign pathogens. Specific compositions of gut commensal bacteria have been associated with an increased incidence of depression, varying responses to immunotherapies, and the progression of neurodegenerative disease...  Read More

Microbe Helps Hosts Exercise Longer

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A recent study published in Nature Medicine reports on the correlation between rigorous exercise and the increase in abundance of a specific bacterial genus in the human gut microbiome. The collaborative group, which includes CRISPR-researcher George Church from Harvard Medical School, established a connection between the abundance of Veillonella atypica and an increased ability to tolerate fitness1. This article adds to the growing evidence that the microbiome...  Read More

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