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Metabolic Biomarkers for Early Gastric Cancer Detection

An approach for the detection of metabolite biomarkers of gastric cancer is presented in Scientific Reports. Gastric cancer is a leading cause of cancer death, in part due to the lack of symptoms presented in its early stages. Endoscopy can accurately diagnose the disease, but its invasiveness limits its use. Meanwhile, circulating biomarkers of gastric cancer have been identified but offer low diagnostic sensitivity. To help improve the early diagnosis of gastric cancer, investigators from the Guizhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine used a combination of dried blood spot sampling and direct infusion mass spectrometry to measure blood metabolic profiles for 166 patients with the disease and 183 healthy individuals. The researchers identified a metabolite biomarker panel that they used to build a prediction model capable of distinguishing cancer patients from healthy individuals. The findings, the scientists write, may lead to the development of new diagnostic tools for gastric cancer.

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.