Diet impacts the sensitivity of gut microbiome to antibiotics, mouse study finds

Antibiotics save countless lives each year from harmful bacterial infections — but the community of beneficial bacteria that live in human intestines, known as the microbiome, frequently suffers collateral damage. Peter Belenky, an assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Brown University, studies ways to minimize this side effect, which can lead to C. diff infections and other life-threatening […]

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Understanding probiotic yeast

Researchers led by Prof. Johan Thevelein (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology) have discovered that Saccharomyces boulardii, a yeast with probiotic properties, produces uniquely excessive amounts of acetic acid, the main component of vinegar. They were also able to find the genetic basis for this trait, which allowed them to modify the acetic acid production of the yeast. If this unique […]

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Potential treatment target for Crohn’s disease

There is no cure for the more than 1.6 million people in the United States living with Crohn’s disease (CD) and its symptoms, including abdominal pain, intestinal distress and severe weight-loss. CD is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in which the body’s own immune system attacks the gastrointestinal tract, and treatment is focused on controlling the symptoms of […]

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‘Can you hear me, now?’ A new strategy ‘raises the volume’ of gut-body communication

Throughout the gastrointestinal tract there are specialized hormone-producing cells called enteroendocrine cells and, although they comprise only a small population of the total cells, they are one of the most important moderators of communication between the gut and the rest of the body. Studying these cells, however, has been difficult. “Enteroendocrine cells are extremely challenging to study because we just […]

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A miniature robot that could check colons for early signs of disease

Engineers have shown it is technically possible to guide a tiny robotic capsule inside the colon to take micro-ultrasound images. Known as a Sonopill, the device could one day replace the need for patients to undergo an endoscopic examination, where a semi-rigid scope is passed into the bowel — an invasive procedure that can be painful. Micro-ultrasound images also have […]

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Over-fed bacteria make people sick

In a new hypothesis, a CRC 1182 research team suggests that inflammatory diseases are caused by an over-supply of food, and the associated disturbance of the intestine’s natural bacterial colonization. Since the end of the Second World War, along with the growing prosperity and the associated changes in lifestyle, numerous new and civilisation-related disease patterns have developed in today’s industrialised […]

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CBT can provide better long-term relief for IBS symptoms

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder affecting 10 — 20 per cent of people. Abdominal pain, bloating and altered bowel habit significantly affect patients’ quality of life and can force them to take days off work. New research has shown that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) tailored specifically for IBS and delivered over the telephone or through an […]

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