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Cancer Microbe Communities Retraced From RNA Sequence Data

Italian and German researchers reporting in Genome Medicine tapped into human RNA sequencing profiles from past cancer studies to put together within-tumor microbial communities offering clues to colon cancer features. Using available RNA sequencing data for colon cancer, lung, brain, skin, breast, and other cancer samples profiled for the Cancer Genome Atlas and other publicly available datasets, the team tracked down tumor-specific microbiome patterns. In particular, the results highlight intratumor microbiome patterns linked to colon cancer molecular features, location, immune cell infiltration features, and patient survival patterns — findings the authors confirmed in another colon cancer cohort. "Our results indicate strong associations between the bacterial composition and molecular, clinical, and prognostic properties of the tumor and highlight specific bacterial species potentially associated with them," they report, noting that "we explored associations with the immune compartment and bacterial metabolic peculiarities in the left and right colon."

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.