Scientists analyzing the gut microbiome have found groups of bacteria that are either abundant or nearly absent – a finding that could aid in coming up with ways to intervene to improve a person’s health. Though there is gradual variation in the abundance of much of gut bacteria, the scientists said in this week’s issue of the journal Nature Communications, specific bacterial groups exist in stable configurations that are associated with a person’s physiology and health.
Architectural design has the potential to influence the microbiology of the built environment, with implications for human health and well-being, but the impact of design on the microbial biogeography of buildings remains poorly understood. In this study we combined microbiological data with information on the function, form, and organization of spaces from a classroom and office building to understand how design choices influence the biogeography of the built environment microbiome.
Recent studies have suggested that the gut microbiome may be an important factor in the development of colorectal cancer. Abnormalities in the gut microbiome have been reported in patients with colorectal cancer; however, this microbial community has not been explored as a potential screen for early-stage disease. We characterized the gut microbiome in patients from three clinical groups representing the stages of colorectal cancer development: healthy, adenoma, and carcinoma. Analysis of the gut microbiome from stool samples revealed both an enrichment and depletion of several bacterial populations associated with adenomas and carcinomas.
Human microbiome research is an actively developing area of inquiry, with ramifications for our lifestyles, our interactions with microbes, and how we treat disease. Advances depend on carefully executed, controlled, and reproducible studies. Here, we provide a Primer for researchers from diverse disciplines interested in conducting microbiome research. We discuss factors to be considered in the design, execution, and data analysis of microbiome studies. These recommendations should help researchers to enter and contribute to this rapidly developing field.
A family of bacteria has become increasingly resistant to last-resort antibiotics during the past decade, and more hospitalized patients are getting lethal infections that, in some cases, are impossible to cure. The findings, published today in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vital Signs report, are a call to action for the entire health care community to work urgently – individually, regionally and nationally – to protect patients. During just the first half of 2012, almost 200 hospitals and long-term acute care facilities treated at least one patient infected with these bacteria.