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11
Feb
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Scientists find key to growth of 'bad' bacteria in inflammatory bowel disease

  Scientists have long puzzled over why "bad" bacteria such as E. coli can thrive in the guts of those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), causing serious diarrhea. Now UC Davis researchers have discovered the answer—one that may be the first step toward finding new and better treatments for IBD. The researchers discovered a biological mechanism by which harmful bacteria grow, edge out beneficial bacteria and damage the gut in IBD. This new understanding, published in the Feb. 8 issue of Science, may help researchers develop new treatments for IBD with fewer side effects than current therapies. IBD begins when "good" bacteria are mistakenly killed by the immune system, while harmful bacteria multiply — resulting in inflammation and damage to the intestines, and chronic episodes of abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea and other changes in bowel habits. It's estimated that IBD, which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, affects 1.4 million people in the...
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11
Feb
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X-ray device traps airborne pathogens and neutralizes them

  Help may be on the way for people with compromised immune systems, severe allergies, or who otherwise have to be wary of airborne nasties. A team of scientists have created something known as a soft x-ray electrostatic precipitator, or an SXC ESP for short. It filters all manner of bacteria, allergens, viruses, and ultrafine particles from the air – plus, it kills everything it catches. Electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) already exist, and work by applying an electrical charge to airborne particles, which are subsequently drawn to an oppositely-charged metallic collection plate. According to the researchers, however, ESPs aren’t very efficient at trapping smaller particles – specifically in the submicrometer and nanometer size range. HEPA filters are also very commonly used, although they require relatively frequent cleaning, and become energy-inefficient if those cleanings are missed. To create the SXC ESP, the scientists added a shielded soft x-ray emitter to an ESP....
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11
Feb
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SCIENTISTS HOME IN ON KILLER BUG

  UK scientists have discovered a secret ‘Sat Nav’ that enables them to identify and zap a potential killer bug in the body’s system. Researchers at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) on the Norwich Research Park have uncovered how the food-borne bacterial pathogen Campylobacter jejuni can change its swimming behaviour to find a location with more food. Just as a rumbling tummy is a human body tells us it's time for lunch, so bacteria need to know when it's time to eat. Campylobacter is the most common cause of bacterial food-borne illness in the UK, with more than 371,000 cases annually. When people get infected, the bacteria need to find their way from the source of contamination, most often undercooked poultry, to the cells lining the gut, passing through thick layers of mucus. In these different locations, Campylobacter must find enough food to sustain itself as well as a...
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28
Jan
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IBM says it has tool to kill deadly drug-resistant superbugs

IBM says it has tool to kill deadly drug-resistant superbugs
  Working with the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Big Blue has come up with a "hydrogel" that can beat back the bacteria that cause many deadly infections.       A new antimicrobial hydrogel created by IBM Research and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology is meant to attack and kill drug-resistant superbugs like MRSA. This is a look at MRSA 'biofilm' before and after being hit with the hydrogel.   (Credit: IBM Research)   Hospital-acquired infections have become a major killer in the United States, mainly because the drug-resistant "superbugs" that cause them have proven nearly impossible to stop. But now IBM and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology say they have come up with what they're calling an antimicrobial hydrogel that can successfully fight the superbugs that are behind killers like MRSA. In an announcement today, IBM Research and its partner on the project said that their antimicrobial hydrogel was designed to...
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  • Maff
    Maff says #
    A highly effective and non-toxic antimicrobial as described would be something truly special. Let's hope it turns out to be as goo
28
Jan
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World’s first probiotic coffee offers ten times the cultures of probiotic yogurt

Tipton Mills probiotic coffee
  It's probably rubbish.....but i thought i would let you all read this..........   If you lead a generally healthy lifestyle, or regularly experience less-than-ideal stomach issues, you’re probably well aware of probiotics. For the unaware, they are “good bacteria” — live microorganisms that reduce the amount of “bad bacteria” found inside the stomach. By reducing the amount of bad bacteria, they create a healthier stomach, and thus can reduce the frequency of general stomachaches, and can prevent acid reflux or digestive tract infections. As everyone who consumes probiotics knows, they’re usually found in yogurt, mainly because probiotics need to be kept cool to survive, and yogurt is a relatively hassle-free way to take them. If you don’t like yogurt though, you’ve generally had a tougher time taking probiotics. Thankfully, company Tipton Mills claims to have figured out a way to make probiotics survive in hotter temperatures, and has been able...
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18
Jan
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How Military Research On Anthrax Could Lead To A Weapon Against Gluten

Students at the University of Washington used a protein-folding program initially funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to come up with a treatment for celiac disease.
  Why would the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — the people who helped bring the world stealth fighters and GPS — fund research into man-made proteins that could make it easier for some Americans to eat pizza?   That's what we wondered when we read that the Pentagon's gee-whiz research arm provided support for work on a drug to treat celiac disease, a condition that interferes with the digestion of gluten in wheat and other foods. So we asked. Mil Donlon, a DARPA program manager, told Shots the agency has no interest in developing a treatment for celiac disease. But in a strange twist of scientific fate, student researchers tried to crack the celiac puzzle with tools developed with DARPA funding. How did it happen? Between 2005 and 2009, DARPA invested in computerized methods to find medical defenses for chemical and biological warfare threats likeSarin nerve gas and anthrax. Shots -...
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15
Jan
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“Robogut” helps Guelph microbiologist hunts for links between the digestive tract and disease

Gut Microbes
  The framework of glass, steel and plastic tubing doesn’t look much like a human gut. Its soft clicks and grinding noises don’t sound like one either. But there’s one thing this state-of-the art equipment and spotless laboratory cannot disguise: the unmistakable odour. It’s the first clue to what microbiologist Emma Allen-Vercoe is brewing in her “RePoopulation Station” at the University of Guelph. This is the home of the Robogut, a unique system of flasks, tubes and high-tech monitors that simulates the lower intestinal tract and, more importantly, cultivates the trillion microbes that inhabit it. That means the smell is a small price to pay. As the Robogut mimics the human distal gut by taking in food components and breaking them down, it also produces waste full of microbes never before grown in a lab. The end result is in demand around the world, from Harvard University to researchers in...
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15
Jan
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Another Reason Why Pandas Rock: Their Blood May Save Your Life

  Pandas have made the leap—from purveyors of cuddly viral YouTube videos to potential life-saving creatures. Turns out the blood of these fuzzy, enigmatic bears may be the key to a potent new antibiotic for humans. As outlined in a recently published paper, Dr. Xiuwen Yan of the Life Science College of Nanjing Agricultural University found that panda blood contains a peptide with strong antimicrobial qualities—so much so that that plasman killed Gram-negative bacteria, which are notoriously difficult to exterminate.  The blood was also effective against drug resistant bacteria strains. Not only did it kill previously infallible bacterium, but it was very fast acting as well. Yan and his team of researchers reported that the panda peptide killed Staphylococcus bacteria in one hour—this is compared to the six hours it takes the standard staph antibiotic.  MORE: Climate Change Fallout: Genetically Inferior Hybrid Grizzly-Polar Bears Given that only 1,600 pandas are left in the wild, the notion of mining pandas for their blood...
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17
Dec
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Changes in the gut bacteria protect against stroke

  Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, demonstrate that an altered gut microbiota in humans is associated with symptomatic atherosclerosis and stroke. These findings are presented in a study published in Nature Communications on December 4. The human body contains ten times more bacterial cells than human cells, most of which are found in the gut. These bacteria contain an enormous number of genes in addition to our host genome, and are collectively known as the gut metagenome. How does the metagenome affect our health? This question is currently being addressed by researchers in the rapidly expanding field of metagenomic research. Several diseases have been linked to variations in the metagenome. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, now also show that changes in the gut metagenome can be linked to atherosclerosis and stroke. The researchers compared a group...
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11
Dec
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Is a Stomach Bacteria the Cause of Baby Colic?

  If you’ve ever taken care of a crying baby, you know how miserable it can be when you can’t seem to console this bundle of love and what’s-supposed-to-be joy. Now, imagine those moments amplified times ten, and prolonged for hours on end…every day…for weeks or months. This is what parents of babies with colic experience.  What’s even more frustrating is that doctors don’t really know the cause of colic. Is it a change in environment from the womb to a new world over-filled with stimulation? Is it a reaction to mother’s milk? Is it acid reflux? We don’t really know. We just know that about 20% of all babies get it and they eventually grow out of it. But recently, a study published in theArchives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine gained a bit of media attention. The study found a possible link between stomach bacteria and babies with colic. Let’s research this together and find out what this...
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26
Nov
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Scientists develop probiotic to target tumours

  Scientists develop probiotic to target tumours By Claire O’Sullivan THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012   Scientists at University College Cork have developed an innovative way to target cancer treatment at tumours — by placing the drug in bacteria which attaches to the tumours.     Bacteria have a natural ability to grow inside tumours. When non-disease causing bacteria are injected intravenously, they attach to the tumours, but do not implant anywhere else in the body.  By putting the drugs into the bacteria, the drugs are then poised to go right to the centre of the cancerous growth.  But Mark Tangney’s team at UCC have gone a step further — they have found a way to make the bacteria produce luminescent light.  This means that, with the help of CT scans, the bacteria can help provide vital information about where exactly in the tumour, the drug therapy has gone.  Dr Tangney...
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21
Nov
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Probiotic worm treatment may improve colitis by restoring gut bacteria to healthy state

  Probiotic worm treatment may improve symptoms of colitis by restoring gut bacteria to healthy state A new study on monkeys with chronic diarrhea that were treated by microscopic parasite worm (helminth) eggs has provided insights on how this form of therapy may heal the intestine. This condition in monkeys is similar to the inflammatory bowel diseases that affects up to 1.4 million Americans. The study, published today in the Open-Access journal PLOS Pathogens, shows that helminths can restore the balance of gut bacterial communities to the monkeys with chronic diarrhea. Inflammatory bowel diseases are driven by a misdirected immune response against gut bacteria (the microbiome) and are often associated with alterations in gut bacterial communities (known as dysbiosis). "The idea for treating colitis with worms is not new, but how this therapy might work remains unclear," says the study's senior corresponding author, P'ng Loke, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology at...
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21
Nov
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Chimp and Human Gut Bacteria Nearly Identical

  Humans share about 99 percent of our genomes with chimpanzees. Now, research finds we share something else: gut bacteria. The bacterial colonies that populate the chimpanzee intestinal tract are mirror images of those found in the human gut, researchers report today (Nov. 13) in the journal Nature Communications. The findings suggest gut bacteria patterns evolved before chimps andhumans split and went their evolutionarily separate ways. Human gut bacteria are crucial to health, with infants relying on healthy microbe populations to influence the developing immune system. Problems with microbe populations may also contribute to obesity and inflammatory bowel diseases.  Three intestinal ecosystems In 2011, researchers learned that everyone's gut bacteria fall into one of three different types, almost analogous to blood types. In each type, certain bacteria dominate. These types weren't linked to any personal characteristics such as geographic area, age or gender. Researchers dubbed these distinct bacterial ecosystems "enterotypes." ("Entero" means gut or intestine.) "No one really knows why...
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20
Nov
0
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Mucus Is Beneficial In The Fight Against Bacteria

A possible new protection against biofilm formation, polymers found in mucus, have been discovered by a team of researchers from MIT. Biofilms are slimy sheets of bacterial buildup that create a serious danger in medical and industrial environments. Once rooted, biofilms are extremely hard to get rid of, and much research has contributed to determining how to prevent and eliminate these harmful agents. Mucus is Helpful The team of biological engineers, whose work was published in Current Biology, discovered these polymers, called mucins, are able to catch bacteria and prevent them from sticking together on a surface, making them harmless. Katharina Ribbeck, the Eugene Bell Career Development Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering and senior author of the paper says:   "Mucus is a material that has developed over millions of years of evolution to manage our interactions with the microbial world. I'm sure we can find inspiration from it for new...
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20
Nov
0
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Bacteria found in dairy products may help fight chronic inflammatory diseases

  Washington, November 7 (ANI): Using non-pathogenic bacteria found naturally in the intestine and dairy food, scientists fromInserm and Inra have designed modified bacteria to produce Elafin, ahuman protein which is known for its anti-inflammatory proprieties. Their breakthrough has provided new hope for individuals suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases, known as IBD, (specifically Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis). They believe that administering this protein directly into the intestine could protect against inflammatory attacks and restore intestinal equilibrium and its functions. During inflammatory outbreaks, IBDs are chiefly characterised by abdominal pain, frequent diarrhoea (sometimes with bleeding) or even disorders in the anal area (fissure, abscesses). Different avenues are being explored to explain the origin of IBDs, including the role of genetic or environmental factors. The intestinal flora seems to play an important role in the outbreak of inflammation, although little is known about it. Identifying an effective treatment is also at the heart of the investigations. Although...
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20
Nov
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Crohn's Disease in Children May Start From Bacteria

  WEDNESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Certain types of bacteria may cause and maintain Crohn's disease, according to a new study. Crohn's causes inflammation of the digestive system. Symptoms include abdominal pain,diarrhea, weight loss, joint pain, skin problems, fever and bleeding from the rectum. In this study, researchers found that 19 children newly diagnosed with Crohn's disease had different levels of a group of bacteria called proteobacteria, which include E. coli and Campylobacter concisus. The researchers also checked bacteria levels in 21 healthy children. Patients with mild Crohn's had higher levels of proteobacteria in their intestinal tracts than those with moderate to severe disease and children without Crohn's disease. This suggests that these types of bacteria may play a role in causing the disease, said study principal investigator Hazel Mitchell of the University of New South Wales, in Australia. The findings may help lead to new treatments that target intestinal bacteria. The study was published in the October issue of...
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06
Jul
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SIBO: Guar Gum alongside Rifaximin could increase success rate

  Clinical trial: the combination of rifaximin with partially hydrolysed guar gum is more effective than rifaximin alone in eradicating small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. 2010 Oct; Abstract   BACKGROUND: Abnormal intestinal clearance is involved in the pathogenesis of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). It is known that partially hydrolysed guar gum affects intestinal motility. Eradication therapy of SIBO is based on antibiotic treatment: no data are available on the role of fibre supplementation in eradicating SIBO. AIM: To assess whether the combination of partially hydrolysed guar gum and rifaximin is more effective than rifaximin alone in the treatment of SIBO. METHODS: A 50 g-glucose breath test was given to 500 consecutive patients. Patients with a positive glucose breath test and predisposing conditions to SIBO entered into the study, and were randomized to receive rifaximin 1200 mg/day or rifaximin 1200 mg/day plus partially hydrolysed guar gum 5 g/day for 10 days....
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27
May
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Clearly Linked to Gut Bacteria

This article should probably be taken with a pinch of salt as the study was carried out by Dr Pimental who has been pushing for the use of the drug Rifaximin for the treatment of IBS-D.  His company Salix pharmaceuticals own the use of Rifaximin so it's in his interest to use this specific drug.  Most people have found that Rifaximin isn't the silver bullet they initially thought it was going to be....   ScienceDaily (May 25, 2012) — An overgrowth of bacteria in the gut has been definitively linked to Irritable Bowel Syndrome in the results of a new Cedars-Sinai study which used cultures from the small intestine. This is the first study to use this "gold standard" method of connecting bacteria to the cause of the disease that affects an estimated 30 million people in the United States.   Previous studies have indicated that bacteria play a role in...
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09
May
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Obesity, GI Issues May Take Root in Gut Flora

  Source: http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/ACP/32295   Manipulating the microbial flora within the intestine offers great promise for preventing or treating obesity and bowel disorders, but the precise means are not yet available, a researcher said here. It's clear that the diverse communities of microorganisms living in the human gut are necessary to normal health, and that their derangement can lead to metabolic and gastrointestinal disorders, said Walter Coyle, MD, of the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Calif. By the same token, then, it ought to be possible to alter the makeup of those communities, either to forestall development of such disorders or to treat them when they do occur, he told attendees at the American College of Physicians' annual meeting. However, the science of the intestinal "microbiome" is still in its infancy and it remains unclear what changes to make, let alone how best to make them, Coyle said. For starters, the mix...
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09
May
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The Antibiotic, Amoxicillin-Clavulanate, Before a Meal May Improve Small Bowel Motility

The common antibiotic, amoxicillin-clavulanate, may improve small bowel function in children experiencing motility disturbances, according to a study appearing in the June print edition of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition from Nationwide Children's Hospital.     Amoxicillan-clavulanate, also known as Augmentin, is most commonly prescribed to treat or prevent infections caused by bacteria. However, it has also been reported to increase small bowel motility in healthy individuals and has been used to treat bacterial overgrowth in patients with chronic diarrhea. Upper gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, early satiety and abdominal distention are common in children. Despite the advances in the technology for diagnosing motility disorders, there continues to be a lack of medications available for the treatment of upper gastrointestinal tract motor function. "There is a significant need for new drugs to treat upper gastrointestinal symptoms in children," said Carlo Di Lorenzo, MD, chief of Gastroenterology, Hepatology...
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