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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Fusobacteria use a protein to bind colorectal tumor

A commonly found mouth bacteria called fusobacteria stick to developing colorectal polyps and cancer with the help of a sugar-binding protein. This a new research published from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Hebrew University brought close to fight colon cancer. Garrett Lab at Harvard Chan School has already shown previously how fusobacteria worsen colorectal cancer but this is the first time they demonstrate how they stick to such developing tumors.

Wendy Garrett, co-senior study author added that it can provide ways to block the binding of fusobacteria to colorectal tumors. She added, “Alternatively, and perhaps more importantly, our findings suggest that drugs targeting the same or similar mechanisms of bacterial sugar-binding proteins could potentially prevent these bacteria from exacerbating colorectal cancer.”

The research was published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe on August 10, 2016.

Colorectal Cancer is the third leading cause of death in US. Epidemiology in 2012 has shown 1.4million cases and almost 694,000 deaths in the world. The microbes have significantly taking part worsening the condition of cancer, where fusobacteria is one of them.

The mechanism of the study was understood with human samples and mouse models by Garrett and co-author Gilad Bachrach of Hebrew University.


Blood poisoning triggered by Staphylococci – the process.

Blood poisoning is an infection of the blood i.e. the presence of microorganisms or their toxins in the blood resulting to disease otherwise known as septicemia/bacteremia. This is dangerous because bacteria and their toxin can be carried to the entire body. If left untreated it can progress to sepsis which is very fatal. The bacteria can travel to vital organs such as brain, heart and lung causing organ failure.
Septicemia is caused by an infection in other part of the body, when bacteria from there gain access to the blood stream, multiplies and spread over the body. Common infection includes: Urinary Tract Infection, Lung Infection (Pneumonia), Kidney Infection and Infection in the Abdominal area. Also, a person with severe injury; burns or immunocompromised is at high risk.  When diagnosed very early, septicemia can be treated effectively with antibiotics. Research efforts are focused on finding out better ways to diagnose the condition earlier as there are few options for diagnosing and treating the disease.
Septicemia can be caused by several pathogens depending on the infection but one caused by Staphylococcus aureus leads to thousands of deaths each year in Germany alone. The peculiarity of Staphylococci comes from the fact that it does not contain endotoxin, hence, how it causes septicemia is unclear. Unlike other pathogens mostly Gram-negative that forms endotoxin molecule which causes septicemia. The way the infection begins and how it leads to multiple organ failure was not well understood until recently. Researchers at the University of Tübingen's Interfaculty Institute for Microbiology and Infection Medicine (IMIT) and the German Center for Infection Medicine (DZIF) headed by Dr. Dorothee Kretschmer, Dennis Hanzelmann and Professor Andreas Peschel already uncovered a major cause of this life-threatening condition. Has published in the latest issue of Nature Communications, the result of their study shows how exactly Staph. does this.
The researchers have now shown that lipopeptides play a key role in triggering the disease and that certain staphylococcus bacteria form additional molecules - known as PSM peptides - which release these lipopeptides. Infections caused by PSM-negative staphylococci are also common, but these staphylococci do not release lipopeptides and hardly set off septicemia in experimental infections.
Knowing that only certain staphylococci release PSM peptides may help doctors to better assess how dangerous a patient's Staphylococcus strain may be. It will also enable them to develop new treatments to prevent the formation of PSM and lipopeptides, thereby avoiding severe cases of blood poisoning.

Dennis Hanzelmann, Hwang-Soo Joo, Mirita Franz-Wachtel, Tobias Hertlein, Stefan Stevanovic, Boris Macek, Christiane Wolz, Friedrich Götz, Michael Otto, Dorothee Kretschmer & Andreas Peschel, (2016)  “Toll-like receptor 2 activation depends on lipopeptide shedding by bacterial surfactants” Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/ncomms12304

Monday, 22 August 2016

Poll: People think antibiotic intake can hamper gut bacteria leading to disease

In this week's poll We The Microbiologist put a common question about how gut bacteria is linked to disease susceptibility. Votes received from options are much fascinating. People mostly think that antibiotic intake may hamper the gut microbiome leading them much resistance. Hence it can put a threat to several disease.

Gut microbime is an important component of human intestine and several researches have proved its link to several disease protection. Any change of microflora can lead to disease susceptibility. The change or hamper of microbiome can be due to several possibilities. Here is what people think:

Q) How gut bacteria link to disease susceptibilities?

1. Antibiotic intake leading to gut bacterial resistance = 42.3%
2. Type of food intake = 15.4%
3. Host's immune/genetic susceptibility = 30.8%
4. Due to bacterial infection = 11.5%

The poll statistics can be found at (download link). Please let us know what you think in the comment box below.

Please read the disclaimer here.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Genetic Engineering Machine can provide products out of Bacteria and DNA

From left to right: Karen Hogan, Guz Gutmann, Michael Hogan, and Orkan Telhan have a discussion about the new automated, self-contained, countertop genetic engineering machine, they created, in foreground. They demontrated it in a lab in the Levin Building in Philadelphia, PA on August 2, 2016. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS): Source: AJC

In an imaginary world where people drinks Milk not from cow but from yeast, the fuel filled in cars not pumped from earth’s crust but by renewable microbes and what if bricks of house cured by bacteria rather than heat. Not possible? But researchers are making ways beyond impossible. Microbial Design Studio presents a machine fit enough to perch on a table top is the perfect genetic engineering product that can provide things beyond impossible.

Orkan Telhan, assistant professor at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and his colleagues devised Biorealize that can solve problems using biology. It does not require anyone to have a biology degree or large amounts of money to have this equipment.

Telhan said designers in particular “need to be able to work with organisms next to where they work with other materials. So this made us think, how can we package the different processes that are important in biological design in a small, low cost, portable (piece of) equipment, so you can see more designers using it this way?”

The equipment needs pre-packaged bacteria to be loaded and DNA on other end, to get the product on outer end. The machine is controlled by software that monitors the process of experiments within.
The machine is designed to develop “recipes” that will provide the desired outcome like proteins for medicine, microbes for industrial design, and yeast for food. Telhan claims that it can provide infinite possibilities as the machine develops.


Saturday, 20 August 2016

World's first Leprosy vaccine in India goes on trial

Source: Pixabay

There is about 60% of the global leprosy patients live in India. So it is vital for Indians to come forward with a possible solution to eradicate leprosy events. As reported recently in Times of India News from Chennai the first exclusive vaccine made in India goes on trial. It will be piloted in districts of Bihar and Gujrat in few weeks.

The disease that made 1.25 lack people cripple every year in India so the vaccine should be an important subject to be put forward in trials. If the pilot phase turns out to be satisfactory then the programme will be implicated across the country.

The vaccine mycobacterium indicus pranii or MIP will be administered to people in close contact or subjected to infection by the bacteria. "It is the first vaccine for leprosy, and India will be the first to have a large-scale vaccination programme. Trials have shown that if the vaccine is given to people in close contact with the affected, cases can be brought down by 60% in three years. It expedites cure rate if given to people with skin lesions," said Indian Council of Medical Research director general Dr Soumya Swaminathan.

The Director of National Institute of Immunology, G.P. Talwar has developed this vaccine and also got approval from DCGI and US-FDA.


Thursday, 18 August 2016

Video: Three reasons why we have not rid Malaria

Malaria is life threatening disease, transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes. World Health Organization has reported 37% increased risk of Malaria between 2000 to 2015.

In TED Talk recently Sonia Shah, science writer explores fascinating story of three reasons why we have not rid Malaria.

Find the Video Here

Courtesy: TED


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

New type of T cell shows insights to eradicate hidden HIV pool.

Image: CDC
A specialized type of white blood cells was discovered by international team of scientists that can find hidden infected cells in tissue and can destroy them. The recent discovery published in the journal Nature Immunology can provide new insights to find new treatments for chronic infections like HIV.

The problem of chronic illness like in HIV, the virus tends to hide from the immune system. Although there are anti-retroviral drugs which are much effective but the medication is lifelong with no hope of getting cured.

Dr. Yu Di, Senior Research Fellow from Monash University, Australia who is the corresponding author of the study mentioned that T-cells are naturally produced by the body during infection; however their numbers and efficiency to kill need to be boosted to eradicate such chronic infections.
In this research, they discovered specialized killer T cells called follicular cytotoxic T cells can enter the hiding spots inside lymphoid tissue where viruses like HIV conceal themselves during treatment. This specialized T cells can eradicate this hidden virus pool.

“This discovery will help us to design new therapies that could eventually treat many different infections, including HIV,” said PhD student Leong Yew Ann, who conducted the major part of this research (as noted from Asian Scientist)

Professor Sharon Lewin who is the co-author of the study added that there are few ways the discovery could be translated to treat people from chronic infections.

“We could potentially transfer these specialized super potent killer T cells into patients, or we could treat patients with proteins that can drag these specialized killer T cells into the right spots, specifically to the hot spots where HIV can hide during antiviral treatment,” Lewin said.


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