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Study Tracks Multiple Sclerosis-Related Gut Microbe Changes

A team from France, Denmark, and other international centers describe gut microbial community changes found in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) in a paper appearing in Genome Medicine. Using shotgun metagenomic sequencing, the researchers assessed gut microbial community features in stool samples from 148 Danish children with MS and another 148 age- and sex-matched controls from the same population, analyzing the microbiomes in conjunction with blood plasma cytokine, blood gene expression, and clinical features. In the process, they focused in on bugs linked to MS overall, MS-related inflammatory markers, future relapse, and other disease features, along with MS-linked viral and bacteriophage patterns. "These bacterial species or their derived immune-modulating postbiotics are candidates to be tested in future clinically controlled interventions as a microbiota-based adjunct therapy," the authors note. "Alternatively, medical treatment could be combined with a tailored plant-based diet favoring specific gut bacterial production of the identified immune-modulating compounds."

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.