Alcohol dependence has traditionally been considered a brain disorder. Alteration in the composition of the gut microbiota has recently been shown to be present in psychiatric disorders, which suggests the possibility of gut-to-brain interactions in the development of alcohol dependence. The aim of the present study was to explore whether changes in gut permeability are linked to gut-microbiota composition and activity in alcohol-dependent subjects. We also investigated whether gut dysfunction is associated with the psychological symptoms of alcohol dependence. Finally, we tested the reversibility of the biological and behavioral parameters after a short-term detoxification program. We found that some, but not all, alcohol-dependent subjects developed gut leakiness, which was associated with higher scores of depression, anxiety, and alcohol craving after 3 wk of abstinence, which may be important psychological factors of relapse. Moreover, subjects with increased gut permeability also had altered composition and activity of the gut microbiota. These results suggest the existence of a gut–brain axis in alcohol dependence, which implicates the gut microbiota as an actor in the gut barrier and in behavioral disorders. Thus, the gut microbiota seems to be a previously unidentified target in the management of alcohol dependence.
Artificial sweeteners, promoted as aids to weight loss and diabetes prevention, could actually hasten the development of glucose intolerance and metabolic disease; and they do it in a surprising way: by changing the composition and function of the gut microbiota
Dmitry Alexeev's insight:
very good comment on the article published recently
Forbes Startups, Exits, And Ecosystem Flux In Software And Biotech Forbes The world is awash in cool new tech startups and poised for “A Cambrian Moment”, according to a recent special report from the Economist.
Bio-IT World | The old Roche 454 facility in Branford, Connecticut, will soon be returning to genomic science, as the Icahn Institute at Mount Sinai prepares to set up its second sequencing facility on grounds abandoned by Roche in its shutdown of...
Tiny edible batteries could be the future of biomedical gadgets Ecopreneurist A low-cost non-toxic sodium ion battery could be swallowed like a pill and used to power biomedical sensors or other biodegradable medical gadgets.
Clinical Informatics News | Illumina will use 2014 to continue development of new diagnostic applications for the MiSeqDx, including in the oncology space, and to submit the HiSeq 2500 for FDA approval.
The scope and eligibility of patents for genetic sequences have been debated for decades, but a critical case regarding gene patents (Association of Molecular Pathologists v. Myriad Genetics) is now reaching the US Supreme Court. Recent court rulings have supported the assertion that such patents can provide intellectual property rights on sequences as small as 15 nucleotides (15mers), but an analysis of all current US patent claims and the human genome presented here shows that 15mer sequences from all human genes match at least one other gene. The average gene matches 364 other genes as 15mers; the breast-cancer-associated gene BRCA1 has 15mers matching at least 689 other genes. Longer sequences (1,000 bp) still showed extensive cross-gene matches. Furthermore, 15mer-length claims from bovine and other animal patents could also claim as much as 84% of the genes in the human genome. In addition, when we expanded our analysis to full-length patent claims on DNA from all US patents to date, we found that 41% of the genes in the human genome have been claimed. Thus, current patents for both short and long nucleotide sequences are extraordinarily non-specific and create an uncertain, problematic liability for genomic medicine, especially in regard to targeted re-sequencing and other sequence diagnostic assays.
In this study, we found that dairy cow manure amendment enhanced the proliferation of resident antibiotic-resistant bacteria and genes encoding β-lactamases in soil even though the cows from which the manure was derived had not been treated with antibiotics. Our findings provide previously unidentified insight into the mechanism by which amendment with manure enriches antibiotic-resistant bacteria in soil.
сщA conference entitled ‘Human microbiome science: Vision for the future’ was organized in Bethesda, MD from July 24 to 26, 2013. The event brought together experts in the field of human microbiome research and aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the state of microbiome research, but more importantly to identify and discuss gaps, challenges and opportunities in this nascent field. This report summarizes the presentations but also describes what is needed for human microbiome research to move forward and deliver medical translational applications.
Bio-IT World | Edico Genome, which claims its DRAGEN chip can assemble a whole human genome and call variants in as little as 20 minutes, has made its first sale of the device to prenatal testing company Sequenom, which will use the DRAGEN to...
Dmitry Alexeev's insight:
As ref is fixed - you can make a specific programmable processors for it
Nature News | While the human microbiome has been mined as a source of novel therapies for years — through probiotics or fecal transplantation — a team at UC San Francisco is now exploring whether more traditional drugs could be found in the...
Animal behavior isn't complicated, but it is complex. Nicolas Perony studies how individual animals -- be they Scottish Terriers, bats or meerkats -- follow simple rules that, collectively, create larger patterns of behavior. And how this complexity born of simplicity can help them adapt to new circumstances, as they arise.
Imperial College London researchers have developed a new method for analyzing biological samples based on their chemical makeup that could transform the way medical scientists examine diseased tissue.
When tests are carried out on a patient’s tissue today, such as looking for cancer, the test has to be interpreted by a histology specialist, which can take weeks to get a full result.
Scientists have proposed using mass spectrometry imaging (MSI), which uses technologies that reveal how hundreds or thousands of chemical components are distributed in a tissue sample. But currently proposed MSI workflows are subject to several limitations, including nonoptimized raw data preprocessing, imprecise image coregistration, and limited pattern recognition capabilities.
In PNAS, the Imperial College London researchers have now outlined a comprehensive new strategy for effectively processing MSI data and building a database of tissue types. In MSI, a beam moves across the surface of a sample, producing a pixelated image. Each pixel contains data on thousands of chemicals present in that part of the sample. By analyzing many samples and comparing them to the results of traditional histological analysis, a computer can learn to identify different types of tissue.
A single test taking a few hours can provide much more detailed information than standard histological tests, for example showing not just if a tissue is cancerous, what the type and sub-type of cancer, which can be important for choosing the best treatment. The technology can also be applied in research to offer new insights into cancer biology.
According to Kirill Veselkov, M.D., corresponding author of the study from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London, “MSI is an extremely promising technology, but the analysis required to provide information that doctors or scientists can interpret easily is very complex. This work overcomes some of the obstacles to translating MSI’s potential into the clinic. It’s the first step towards creating the next generation of fully automated histological analysis.”
The technology will also be useful in drug development. To study where a new drug is absorbed in the body, pharmaceutical scientists attach a radioactive label to the drug molecule, then look at where the radiation can be detected in a laboratory animal. If the label is detached when the drug is processed in the body, it is impossible to determine how and where the drug has been metabolized. MSI would allow researchers to look for the drug and any metabolic products in the body, without using radioactive labels.
50 startup lessons for 2014: AngelList, KISSmetrics founders help kick off Launch This Year · 21 hrs ago ....
Dmitry Alexeev's insight:
According to Illumina chief executive Jay Flatley, the HiSeq X Ten can sequence human genomes accurately enough to reliably identify DNA variants 10 times faster than its predecessor. - WOW What a brearkthrough - you put 10 machines together and it is working 10 times faster - scalability. It is cheaper - however you need to sequence 2500 genomes to save the money (every genome saves 4000) and it will take you 156 days of only running time and additional 2.5 M $ - so it makes sense to start only with 15 - 20 M projects