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Here's Hoping for Lean Microbes

Two papers out of Jeff Gordon's Washington University lab published in today's issue of Nature provide a link between the microbial populations in the gut and the obesity of the host. According to the editor's summary of these metabolic papers:

A study of the abundance of the two dominant groups of bacteria in the gut of obese individuals shows that increased numbers of Bacteroidetes bacteria correlate with weight loss. And a study of genetically obese mice reveals that their gut microbial community has a greater capacity for harvesting energy than that of lean littermates: the trait is transmissible by transplanting the community into germ-free mice. This work suggests that the gut microbiome associated with obesity might be a biomarker and possibly a therapeutic target.

On a personal note, the editors of Genome Technology send a great big thanks to Jeff for giving us another sound reason to shirk our exercise program.


The Scan

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.