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Nasal swabs and saliva are conventional methods for detection of SARS-CoV-2, but the virus is also present in feces. Therefore, fecal material in wastewater samples could be used to track community dynamics of the virus. To do that, Brumfield et al. (2022) collected wastewater samples from manholes and then processed them for microbial genome sequencing...

Harmful algal bloom (HAB) incidence has been increasing over the past decades, particularly in various inland lakes and rivers in the United States. Human activities such as wastewater discharge and fertilizer, pesticide and urban water runoff into water bodies leads to algal proliferation and HABs. HABs secrete diverse cyanotoxins as secondary metabolites which may come...

The oral microbiome is second to the gut microbiome in human microbiome complexity partly due to its constant exposure to inhaled and ingested microbes. There are estimated to be more than 700 microbial species in the oral cavity and 54% of these microbes are uncultivable. As such, elucidating the metabolic functions of the uncultivable oral...

Bladder cancer (BC) is the fourth most prevalent cancer in men and 11th in women. Environmental toxins that enter the body are eventually excreted through kidneys, and they interact with the urinary tract microbiome to generate metabolites that may contribute to the development of BC. Members of the microbiome impact production of HBDs2 and 3...

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a pressing threat to human health, both locally and globally. AMR genes increase the resistance of microbes against common antibiotics, making infections increasingly difficult to treat. Different microbes may bear different AMR genes, and different AMR genes may confer variable resistance against different antimicrobials. All AMR genes in a community constitute...

Antibiotic use is widespread and a key weapon against bacterial infections. However, their behavior against complex microbial communities is still unknown, as they are typically developed against distinct, individual pathogens. Understanding the effect of specific antibiotics on microbial communities is important for effective treatment of polymicrobial infections, such as those found in cystic fibrosis (CF)...

The human gut microbiome is a key modulator of human health. It is known to play important roles in the outcome of treatments and diseases, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Although survival rates of ALL exceed 90%, infectious complications still remain a challenge to disease prognosis and quality of life. Recent studies suggest a link...

A recent article in Discover Magazine details a study comparing the gut microbiomes of babies in industrialized communities and those in hunter-gatherer communities. Their composition is similar until around 6 months of age when industrialized babies begin to lose Bifidobacterium infantis, an important gut microbe that can digest human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) and may play...