Bacteria aren’t the only non-human invaders to colonize the gut shortly after a baby’s birth. Viruses also set up house there, according to new research led by Lori Holtz, MD, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
A new study suggests uric acid may play a role in causing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The work also demonstrates the importance of the intestine in removing uric acid from the body, opening the door to potential therapies for preventing or treating type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
The mix of microbes living inside the gut can protect against obesity, but a healthy diet is critical, according to School of Medicine scientists who transplanted intestinal microbes from obese and lean twins into mice and fed the animals different diets. Pictured are researchers Vanessa Ridaura, a graduate student, and Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, director of the Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology.
New research by Herbert W. “Skip” Virgin, MD, PhD, and colleagues may explain why advanced AIDS patients often develop gastrointestinal disease.
Studying leukemia in mice, John F. DiPersio, MD, PhD, and his colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have reduced a life-threatening complication of stem cell transplants, the only curative treatment when leukemia returns.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, including Michael Holtzman, MD, have received an $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the role of the barrier functions of the skin, gut, and airway in asthma and allergic diseases. Understanding the role of the epithelial cells in these tissues may help prevent and treat respiratory illnesses in the future, the researchers say.
Two new studies showcase the dynamic relationship between components of the diet and the intestinal microbiome. The research provides a foundation for improving human health by designing diets and foods that enhance microbes’ ability to capture specific food ingredients or that enrich the presence of beneficial microbes.
A largely unexplored world of viruses make their home in the lower intestine, and new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that each of us harbors a unique collection of these “friendly” viruses. The research is published in the journal Nature.