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Compositional Lotka-Volterra describes microbial dynamics in the simplex

By |2020-07-20T17:02:36+00:00July 20th, 2020|

Abstract Dynamic changes in microbial communities play an important role in human health and disease. Specifically, deciphering how microbial species in a community interact with each other and their environment can elucidate mechanisms of disease, a problem typically investigated using tools from community ecology. Yet, such methods require measurements of absolute densities, whereas typical datasets only [...]

Cholesterol Metabolism by Uncultured Human Gut Bacteria Influences Host Cholesterol Level

By |2020-07-20T17:02:35+00:00July 20th, 2020|

Summary The human microbiome encodes extensive metabolic capabilities, but our understanding of the mechanisms linking gut microbes to human metabolism remains limited. Here, we focus on the conversion of cholesterol to the poorly absorbed sterol coprostanol by the gut microbiota to develop a framework for the identification of functional enzymes and microbes. By integrating paired [...]

The human tumor microbiome is composed of tumor type–specific intracellular bacteria

By |2020-07-20T17:02:35+00:00July 20th, 2020|

Profiling tumor bacteria Bacteria are well-known residents in human tumors, but whether their presence is advantageous to the tumors or to the bacteria themselves has been unclear. As an initial step toward addressing this question, Nejman et al. produced an exhaustive catalog of the bacteria present in more than 1500 human tumors representing seven different tumor types (see [...]

Advances in Understanding the Human Urinary Microbiome and Its Potential Role in Urinary Tract Infection

By |2020-07-20T17:02:33+00:00July 20th, 2020|

Recent advances in the analysis of microbial communities colonizing the human body have identified a resident microbial community in the human urinary tract (UT). Compared to many other microbial niches, the human UT harbors a relatively low biomass. Studies have identified many genera and species that may constitute a core urinary microbiome. However, the contribution [...]

Human placenta has no microbiome but can contain potential pathogens

By |2020-07-20T17:02:33+00:00July 20th, 2020|

Abstract We sought to determine whether pre-eclampsia, spontaneous preterm birth or the delivery of infants who are small for gestational age were associated with the presence of bacterial DNA in the human placenta. Here we show that there was no evidence for the presence of bacteria in the large majority of placental samples, from both [...]

Deep microbial analysis of multiple placentas shows no evidence for a placental microbiome

By |2020-07-20T17:02:32+00:00July 20th, 2020|

Objectives To resolve the controversy regarding the presence of a microbiota in the placenta. Design Classical and molecular microbiological study. Setting All samples were collected during caesarean section. Population A total of 28 human placentas and six murine placentas. Methods All 28 human placentas were checked for 16S rRNA gene amplification products. Three locations from [...]

How Microbes Help Us Reclaim Our Wastewater

By |2020-07-20T17:02:31+00:00July 20th, 2020|

A key challenge to setting up a civilization is the plumbing. This is one reason why major cities, particularly those with a long history, are conspicuously placed along rivers; pressurized water and the kind of plumbing we have today would not be unfamiliar thousands of years ago to civilizations like the Mayans. Despite its long and [...]

It is Time to Address Airborne Transmission of COVID-19

By |2020-07-20T17:02:30+00:00July 20th, 2020|

Commentary We appeal to the medical community and to the relevant national and international bodies to recognize the potential for airborne spread of COVID-19. There is significant potential for inhalation exposure to viruses in microscopic respiratory droplets (microdroplets) at short to medium distances (up to several meters, or room scale), and we are advocating for [...]

Exploring SARS-CoV-2 hospital surface and air contamination in London

By |2020-07-20T17:02:30+00:00July 20th, 2020|

We have just had a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases exploring the extent and magnitude of hospital surface and air contamination with SARS-CoV-2 during the (first!) peak of COVID-19 in London. The bottom line is that we identified pretty extensive surface and air contamination with SARS-CoV-2 RNA but did not culture viable virus. We concluded that this highlights [...]

Does The Placenta Have A Bacterial Microbiome?

By |2020-07-20T16:06:19+00:00July 20th, 2020|

A few years ago, the medical community was in a bit of a tizzy over a scientific report that the human placenta has its own microbiome–a complex mixture of bacteria that maybe, just maybe, affected the health of newborn babies. According to the New York Times‘ rather breathless reporting at the time: “the placenta … harbors a world of bacteria [...]