Linking the Human Gut Microbiome to Inflammatory Cytokine Production Capacity

Schirmer M, et al (Xavier Lab) Cell. 2016 Nov 3;167(4):1125-1136.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.10.020. Gut microbial dysbioses are linked to aberrant immune responses, which are often accompanied by abnormal production of inflammatory cytokines. As part of the Human Functional Genomics Project (HFGP), we investigate how differences in composition and function of gut microbial communities may contribute to […]

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Finding a niche

This post was written by Sean Gibbons, a Post-Doctoral Associate with Eric Alm at MIT The field of invasion ecology attempts to understand how and why certain species are able to invade or colonize territory outside of their native ranges. Human shipping and transportation activities have greatly increased the dispersal of animal and plant species across […]

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Synthetic recombinase-based state machines in living cells.

Science. 2016 Jul 22;353(6297):aad8559. doi: 10.1126/science.aad8559. Epub 2016 Jul 21. Roquet N, Soleimany AP, Ferris AC, Aaronson S, Lu TK State machines underlie the sophisticated functionality behind human-made and natural computing systems that perform order-dependent information processing. We developed a recombinase-based framework for building state machines in living cells by leveraging chemically controlled DNA excision […]

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Virtual microfluidics for digital quantification and single-cell sequencing.

Xu L, Brito IL, Alm EJ, Blainey PC. We have developed hydrogel-based virtual microfluidics as a simple and robust alternative to complex engineered microfluidic systems for the compartmentalization of nucleic acid amplification reactions. We applied in-gel digital multiple displacement amplification (dMDA) to purified DNA templates, cultured bacterial cells and human microbiome samples in the virtual […]

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Designing fecal microbiota transplant trials that account for differences in donor stool efficacy

by Scott Olesen Microbes appear to be involved in a complicated interaction with their human hosts, protecting us from some diseases and possibly helping to cause others. Gut microbiota are suspected to be involved in inflammatory bowel disease, a condition where the human body’s immune system attacks its own digestive system. Inflammatory bowel disease, or […]

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