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Essential Science: Big investments for human microbiome research

Moving from a field of academic research to commercialization, interest in the human microbiome has been accelerating over the past year with several big biotechnology companies involved. We take a look at the reasons why.

Lowering cholesterol thanks to artificial prebiotics

Budapest - A new study indicates that a naturally synthesized prebiotic can target and increase the growth of bacteria in the human gut which lead to a reduction in cholesterol levels. The research comes from the University of Reading in the U.K.

Essential Science: Year-long survey tracks microbes in hospitals

Understanding the types of microorganisms found in a typical hospital and whether they are pathogens is an important part of good governance. Such investigations need to go further and understand changes over time.

Circadian clocks influence body’s response to diet

Scientists from Baylor College of Medicine have found that alterations to the circadian clock affect how the body responds to diet. In turn this influences microbes residing in the digestive tract.

Antibiotics counteract benefits of whole grain

Copenhagen - Antibiotics can adversely affect the health properties of whole grain. This appears particularly so for women. According to a new study, experimental findings show the importance of controlling the use of antibiotics.

Bad mix of gut microbes triggers age-associated inflammation

Inflammation increases with age and this leads to ill-health problems. One of the triggers appears to be the balance of microorganisms in the gut. This is based on studies using mice and the findings may well apply to people.

Intestinal bacteria may protect against diabetes

Medical research suggests that a high concentration of indolepropionic acid in serum helps to protect a person against type 2 diabetes. Indolepropionic acid is produced by intestinal bacteria, and it is higher with a fiber-rich diet.

Pancreatic cancer connected to mouth bacteria

New York City - The oral microbiome (that bacteria found in the mouth) can, if imbalanced, enhance the risk of a person developing pancreatic cancer. The finding adds to growing reports about the association between human microbes and disease.

Keeping pets lowers allergy risk

Toronto - Does keeping cats and dogs help to protect children from developing allergies and does it also help to reduce obesity levels? These are the indicators from a new U.S. survey on families that keep pets. The reason comes down to the human microbiome.

Magnetic brain stimulation causes weight loss

Milan - Can weight loss be achieved through the technique of magnetic brain stimulation? A recent study suggests this is possible and it works by altering the composition of the bacteria that reside in the human gut.

Connection between gut microorganisms and Parkinson’s disease

A new connection between the microbiome of the gut and human health and disease has been made. Here Parkinson's disease, along with the medications to treat Parkinson's, alter the composition of the trillions of bacteria that make up the gut microbiome.

Essential Science: Gut microbes cause your blood pressure to rise

Unhealthy gut microorganisms can trigger a rise in blood pressure and this can trigger the unhealthy effects of hypertension, according to new research. The research further reinforces the role the balance of human microorganisms play in disease.

Project underway to map hospital infection zones

Chicago - To better understand the infection risks to patients a plan has been drawn up to map the microbiome of hospitals. This is on the premise that each hospital carries its own, unique microbial signature.

Using the necrobiome to estimate time of death

The microbial content of dead bodies can be used to assess the time of death, based on new research. This requires analysis of the so-termed “necrobiome”, looking at the patterns of microbes on and within the deceased.

Microbiomes interact with mental health treatment

People who experience a 'nervous stomach' under periods of stress will understand the connection between the gut and a person’s mood. It seems that there is now scientific evidence to support this link.

Trouble with contact lenses? Might be your microbiome

Some people cope well with contact lenses, other suffer with itchy eyes or run into problems. The reason may be due to the microbial composition of the eye, according to a new study.

Gut microbes linked to immunotherapy response in patients

Austin - The composition of a person’s gut microbes appears to be a determining factor for immunotherapy, at least in relation to melanoma patients. This finding stems from a new study.

Disease-causing gut bacteria prevalent in children

A study in Denmark has found an unexpectedly high proportion of a pathogenic gut bacteria present in children. The bacterium is more commonly associated with disease in developing countries.

Gut microbes change after spinal cord injury

Further research about the body’s dynamic microbiome has been published, this time in relation to alterations following a spinal cord injury. The findings are important for patient recovery.

New evidence for the role of bacteria in incontinence

The feeling of suddenly having to urinate is an unpleasant one and repeated occurrences can affect many people. The underlying causes are varied, although one factor may be microbial in origin.
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