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From the skin to the gut, our bodies are full of microbes. Over the past few years it has become increasingly clear that this microbiome has a profound influence on many of our bodily processes. Below we have assembled our most recent content in the area of the microbiome. Make sure to come back as this article collection will be updated regularly. We wish you enjoyable reading!

Functional Classification of the Gut Microbiota: The Key to Cracking the Microbiota Composition Code : Functional classifications of the gut microbiota reveal previously hidden contributions of indigenous gut bacteria to human health and disease

Connor E. Rosen, Noah W. Palm*

Functional classifications of the human microbiota reveal previously hidden patterns and will be key to cracking the microbiota composition code. This figure shows a theoretical comparison between phylogenetic classification and functional classification (e.g., immunological classification) of a host-associated microbial community.

BioEssays https://doi.org/10.1002/bies.201700032 [Prospects & Overviews]

Latitude as a co-driver of human gut microbial diversity?

Emma Dikongué, Laure Ségurel*

The human gut microbiome composition and diversity is influenced by many factors, including diet, hygiene practices, medication, lifestyle (industrialized or “traditional”), and the host genetic variability. We propose that latitude is also correlated with the gut microbial diversity, given that it is the case for other microorganisms.

BioEssays2017, 39, No. 3, 0 [Insights & Perspectives]

Inferring human microbial dynamics from temporal metagenomics data: Pitfalls and lessons

Hong-Tai Cao, Travis E. Gibson, Amir Bashan, Yang-Yu Liu*

Inferring microbial community structure and dynamics from time-resolved metagenomics data are key to dissecting microbiome ecology. Existing methods suffer from many serious issues. New computational methods are needed.

BioEssays2017, 39, No. 2, 0–0 [Insights & Perspectives]

Has provoking microbiota aggression driven the obesity epidemic?

Benoit Chassaing, Andrew T. Gewirtz*

Societal changes that occur during the post mid-20th century can explain the dramatic increase in incidence in metabolic syndrome as well as in chronic intestinal inflammation. Mucus layer may have been altered by dietary factor and/or gut microbiota altered in way making it closer to the epithelial mucosa. This microbiota encroachment will ultimately lead to increase in pro-inflammatory signaling in the intestine.

BioEssays2016, 38, No. 2, 122–128 [Insights & Perspectives]

MAPping the Ndc80 loop in cancer: A possible link between Ndc80/Hec1 overproduction and cancer formation

Ngang Heok Tang*, Takashi Toda*

Mitotic chromosome mis-segregation leads to aneuploidy, the hallmark of cancer. Ndc80 kinetochore protein promotes cancer formation upon overproduction for some unknown reason. Here we propose that rather than a gain-of-function by overproduced Ndc80, abnormal sequestration of its binding proteins via the Ndc80 internal loop may exert causative impacts on tumourigenesis.

BioEssays2015, 37, No. 3, 248–256 [Insights & Perspectives]

Staphylococcus aureus chronic and relapsing infections: Evidence of a role for persister cells

Brian P. Conlon*

Staphylococcus aureus causes a range of biofilm related chronic and relapsing infections. The recalcitrance of these infections to antibiotic treatment can be explained by the presence of persister cells, phenotypic variants that tolerate high levels of antibiotic. Targeting these persisters will facilitate improved treatment of these infections.

BioEssays2014, 36, No. 10, 991–996 [Prospects & Overviews]

Is eating behavior manipulated by the gastrointestinal microbiota? Evolutionary pressures and potential mechanisms

Joe Alcock, Carlo C. Maley*, C. Athena Aktipis

Nutrient competition affects all biological communities, including the human microbiota. Selection favors microbes that can influence their nutrient supply, potentially leading to microbial manipulation of human feeding behavior. Manipulation may involve neurochemical rewards, toxins, vagus nerve modulation, and manipulation of taste receptors, leading to cravings and unhealthy eating behavior.

BioEssays2014, 36, No. 10, 940–949 [Prospects & Overviews]

Metagenomic insights into the human gut resistome and the forces that shape it

Kristoffer Forslund*, Shinichi Sunagawa, Luis P. Coelho, Peer Bork

Antibiotic resistance in bacteria is growing. Opinions diverge regarding to what extent our policies enable this. Metagenomics allow new insights into the question. Available data show large differences between countries in resistance potential of human gut microbes, consistent with statistics of antibiotic use in food production and medicine.

BioEssays2014, 36, No. 3, 316–329 [Prospects & Overviews]

Intestinal colonization: How key microbial players become established in this dynamic process

Sahar El Aidy*, Pieter Van den Abbeele, Tom Van de Wiele, Petra Louis, Michiel Kleerebezem

The dynamic interplay of the host, microbiota, and its metabolic activities drives homeostasis. Primary gut colonization induces fucosylation, which facilitates establishment of the microbial community. Initial bloom of sulfate reducing bacteria followed by colonization of Clostridia and production of short chain fatty acids (e.g. butyrate) represent an important microbial signature for gut homeostasis.

BioEssays2013, 35, No. 10, 913–923 [Prospects & Overviews]

Replenishing our defensive microbes

Luke K. Ursell, William Van Treuren, Jessica L. Metcalf, Meg Pirrung, Andrew Gewirtz, Rob Knight*

Exposure to microbes is known to train our immune system to recognize pathogens and promote host health. Here, we discuss how modern behaviors, including Cesarean sections, antibiotic use, and limited exposure to animals, might derail our microbiota from its ancestral trajectory, and discuss suggested methods to replenish beneficial human microbes.

BioEssays2013, 35, No. 9, 810–817 [Prospects & Overviews]

If microbial ecosystem therapy can change your life, what's the problem?

Grace Ettinger, Jeremy P. Burton, Gregor Reid*

If a simple replacement of your gut microbiota by someone else's could improve your health and ability to function, would you do it? How would you select the donor and would the “authorities” let you perform the transplant? The age of the microbiome is here, but is society ready?

BioEssays2013, 35, No. 6, 508–512 [Prospects & Overviews]

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