Microbiome

Penn Study Details Impact of Antibiotics, Antiseptics on Skin Microbiomes

June 20, 2017

The use of topical antibiotics can dramatically alter communities of bacteria that live on the skin, while the use of antiseptics has a much smaller, less durable impact. The study, conducted in mice in the laboratory of Elizabeth Grice, PhD, an assistant professor of dermatology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, is the first to show the long-term effects of antimicrobial drugs on the skin microbiome. Researchers published their findings today in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Ethnicity and Breastfeeding Influence Infant Gut Bacteria

June 1, 2017

The bacteria in a child’s gut appears to be influenced as early as its first year by ethnicity and breastfeeding, according to a new study from McMaster University. And while stable gut bacteria, called microbiota, may not be established until one to three years after birth, the infant gut bacteria seems to be an important indicator of immune function, nutrient metabolism and could offer protection from pathogens. The study was recently published in Genome Medicine.

Yearlong Survey Tracks the Microbiome of a Newly Opened Hospital

May 24, 2017

A 12-month study mapping bacterial diversity within a hospital — with a focus on the flow of microbes between patients, staff and surfaces — should help hospitals worldwide better understand how to encourage beneficial microbial interactions and decrease potentially harmful contact.

Stool Microbes Predict Advanced Liver Disease

May 3, 2017

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) — a condition that can lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer — isn’t typically detected until it’s well advanced. Even then, diagnosis requires an invasive liver biopsy. To detect NAFLD earlier and more easily, researchers in the NAFLD Research Center at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, Human Longevity, Inc. and the J. Craig Venter Institute report that the unique microbial makeup of a patient’s stool sample — or gut microbiome — can be used to predict advanced NAFLD with 88 to 94 percent accuracy.

Scientists Plot Antibiotic Resistance on a World Map

May 2, 2017

Russian scientists have created an interactive world map of human gut microbiota potential to resist antibiotics (resistome). Their ResistoMap will help identify national trends in antibiotic use and control antibiotic resistance on the global scale.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Linked to Imbalanced Microbiome

April 26, 2017

Scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health have discovered abnormal levels of specific gut bacteria related to chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis, or

Microbes Evolved to Colonize Different Parts of the Human Body

March 20, 2017

As the human species evolved over the last six million years, our resident microbes did the same, adapting to vastly different conditions on our skin and in our mouths, noses, genitalia and guts. A team of Duke University scientists has tracked how this microbial evolution unfolded, using mathematical tools originally developed for geologists.

Scientist Studies the Infant Resistome to Combat Superbugs

December 8, 2016

Gautam Dantas remembers the day in 10th grade when he first wanted to be a scientist. It was the day he had a new biology teacher, a visiting researcher from the U.S. The teacher passionately described his own biochemical studies of how organisms live together in communities. By the end of the class, Dantas had resolved to earn a PhD in biochemistry. He ended up doing much more—gaining expertise in computational biology, protein design and synthetic biology. He now combines his skills and knowledge in multifaceted research that spans four departments at the Washington University in St. Louis. His goal: to better understand and help combat a vital public health threat—drug-resistant bacteria.

ATM Keypads Reveal a City's DNA

November 16, 2016

Automated teller machine (ATM) keypads in New York City hold microbes from human skin, household surfaces, or traces of food, a study by researchers at New York University has found.

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