MICROBIOME AND GERM-FREE INSIGHTS


Selecting Donors for Fecal Microbiota Transplantation

While fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is viewed as a relatively inexpensive and safe method for treating recurring Clostridium difficile infection and other maladies in humans, FMT is not without its challenges, particularly with regard to the screening and selection of fecal donors. In a recent Gut Microbes publication, Woodworth et al. discussed current challenges pertaining to FMT for human use1. The authors evaluate current recommendations for selection...

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A First-Person Account of the Microbiome Revolution

Segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) in the terminal ileum of an 8-week-old Taconic B6 mouse In a new commentary article in Cell Host & Microbe, Ivaylo Ivanov provides a first-person account of the discovery that microbiota composition affects immune system development and response. Ten years after the first studies showing that development of Th17 cells were regulated by the microbiome, Ivanov details how those discoveries were made. As...

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Probiotics and Animal Health

It's common knowledge that the microbiome is a hot area of biomedical research, with pharma and biotech placing big bets on microbiome therapeutics. But did you know that microbiome research and probiotics are also of interest to the animal health and agriculture markets? Farmers routinely treat livestock with low-dose antibiotics to promote growth, but that practice has been widely criticized as leading to the development of antimicrobial...

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Experimental Impacts of Stress and Microbiome

Exposure to stressful situations is difficult to avoid in the life of the laboratory mouse, but study design rarely accounts for the phenotypic effects of stress and the microbiome. Inevitable events and procedures, such as transportation, handling, and restraint, are known to induce stress in mice. Usually the stress response is transient and stabilizes within a period of time. The time until stabilization depends upon many things,...

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Resuscitation Fluid Composition May Improve Sepsis Outcomes

While modern medicine has done little to improve the mortality rates from severe sepsis, modifications in resuscitation fluid composition may prevent disease progression and improve outcomes. Researchers at McMaster University recently demonstrated that altering the concentrations of gluconate and acetate in resuscitation fluid impacts both hepatic cytokine production and leukocyte recruitment in a C57BL/6 mouse model of sepsis. "Resuscitation fluid composition affects hepatic inflammation in a murine...

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Interested in Learning How the Microbiome Impacts Drug Discovery?

Attend the Translational Microbiome Conference in Boston this April to learn how the microbiome is impacting the drug discovery industry. This industry-leading, three-day conference "focuses on the potential for translational interventions in microbiome research and the challenges the industry will need to address to make this space successful." Taconic Biosciences — the only commercial provider of germ-free mice — will sponsor, speak, and conduct a workshop at...

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Microbiome Research Symposia Review: Microbiome and Disease

Adapted from an image by Nathan Schmidt, University of Louisville Taconic Biosciences recently organized two research symposia on the microbiome and disease, with a focus on translational research. Attendees from across pharma, biotech, and academia convened for two days of presentations and discussions on the cutting edge in microbiome science. Advancing Microbiome Research Symposium: Microbiome & Disease, November 3, 2016, Potomac, MD The first symposium was held...

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Colitis Animal Models in IBD Research Webinar Q&A

Dr. Philip Dubé recently presented a webinar on colitis animal models for IBD research. His presentation introduced three major types of colitis models — chemically-induced, genetically engineered spontaneous colitis models, and adoptive transfer models — with examples of specific models from each type reviewed. Due to time constraints, many of the questions submitted during the webinar went unanswered. We present a full Q&A here. Dextran Sulfate Sodium...

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Are Gnotobiotic Isolators Always Necessary?

Housing system design is fundamentally linked to the stability and characteristics of the mouse microbiome - but are gnotobiotic isolators always necessary to prevent compositional changes in microbiota? A new study published by Randi Lundberg, DVM and co-authors from University of Copenhagen and Technical University of Denmark, characterized the gut microbiota of mice housed in individually ventilated cages (IVCs) and compared it to that of mice housed...

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Mouse Model of Alcohol Abuse Shows Microbiome Changes

In one of the few published studies evaluating the role of chronic alcohol exposure and its impact on the microbiome, researchers at University College Cork, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and Teagasc Food Research Centre found marked changes in microbiota in a mouse model of alcohol abuse. After four weeks of exposure to chronic intermittent vaporized ethanol, investigators found a reduction in bacteria alpha diversity...

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