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Though atherosclerosis is an artery problem, microscopic denizens of the intestines may play a surprising role in how the disease plays out. A new study suggests that different mixes of intestinal microbes may determine whether people will have heart attacks or strokes brought on by break-away plaque from the arteries. Compared with healthy people, heart disease patients who have had strokes or other complications of atherosclerosis carry fewer microbes that make anti-inflammatory compounds. These patients also have more bacteria that produce inflammation-triggering molecules, researchers report online December 4 in Nature Communications. Inflammation is thought to promote cardiovascular disease.

EMBL Heidelberg and Washington University scientists Peer Bork and George Weinstock respectively deciphered for the first time the genotype of gut microbiota using metagenomics data. Europeans and North American dataset respectively available from MetaHIT and HMP project were analyzed using new bioinformatics tools specially developed by Peer's Bork group for this project. Dr Siegfried Schloissnig and Dr Shinishi Sunagawa, bioinformaticians at EMBL Heidelberg, accepted to highlight us context and the main findings of their major study. First, next generation sequencing technology made feasible such analysis. Indeed, "Novel technologies allow for deep investigation of microbial communities in natural environments, including the gut microbiome ", says Dr Sunagawa, and "with the gains…

(This report can be downloaded for free as a PDF.) One of the most intimate relationships that our body has with the outside world is through our gut. Our gastrointestinal tracts harbor a vast and still largely unexplored microbial world known as the human microbiome that scientists are only just beginning to understand. Researchers are recognizing the integral role of the microbiome in human physiology, health, and disease — with microbes playing critical roles in many host metabolic pathways — and the intimate nature of the relationships between the microbiome and both host physiology and host diet. While there is still a great deal to learn, the newfound knowledge already…

Speakers: Peter Lakatos (Hungary), Sheila Crowe (USA) Bone mineral disease (BMD) is common in the general population, and there is an increased risk of developing disorders of BMD – osteopenia and osteoporosis – among people with gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, especially in those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), untreated celiac disease, end-stage cholestatic liver disease and after gastric surgery. Dr Peter Lakatos told the audience of gastroenterologists that osteopenia and osteoporosis are present in up to one-third of patients with GI diseases (15-35%), and that these patients are at an increased risk of bone fracture, at 1.4 to 3 times that of the general population. Dr Lakatos emphasised that it is…

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Though atherosclerosis is an artery problem, microscopic denizens of the intestines may play a surprising role in how the disease plays out. A new study suggests that different mixes of intestinal microbes may determine whether people will have heart attacks or strokes brought on by break-away plaque from the arteries. Compared with healthy people, heart disease patients who have had strokes or other complications of atherosclerosis carry fewer microbes that make anti-inflammatory compounds. These patients also have more bacteria that produce inflammation-triggering molecules, researchers report online December 4 in Nature Communications. Inflammation is thought to promote cardiovascular disease.

EMBL Heidelberg and Washington University scientists Peer Bork and George Weinstock respectively deciphered for the first time the genotype of gut microbiota using metagenomics data. Europeans and North American dataset respectively available from MetaHIT and HMP project were analyzed using new bioinformatics tools specially developed by Peer's Bork group for this project. Dr Siegfried Schloissnig and Dr Shinishi Sunagawa, bioinformaticians at EMBL Heidelberg, accepted to highlight us context and the main findings of their major study. First, next generation sequencing technology made feasible such analysis. Indeed, "Novel technologies allow for deep investigation of microbial communities in natural environments, including the gut microbiome ", says Dr Sunagawa, and "with the gains…

(This report can be downloaded for free as a PDF.) One of the most intimate relationships that our body has with the outside world is through our gut. Our gastrointestinal tracts harbor a vast and still largely unexplored microbial world known as the human microbiome that scientists are only just beginning to understand. Researchers are recognizing the integral role of the microbiome in human physiology, health, and disease — with microbes playing critical roles in many host metabolic pathways — and the intimate nature of the relationships between the microbiome and both host physiology and host diet. While there is still a great deal to learn, the newfound knowledge already…

Speakers: Peter Lakatos (Hungary), Sheila Crowe (USA) Bone mineral disease (BMD) is common in the general population, and there is an increased risk of developing disorders of BMD – osteopenia and osteoporosis – among people with gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, especially in those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), untreated celiac disease, end-stage cholestatic liver disease and after gastric surgery. Dr Peter Lakatos told the audience of gastroenterologists that osteopenia and osteoporosis are present in up to one-third of patients with GI diseases (15-35%), and that these patients are at an increased risk of bone fracture, at 1.4 to 3 times that of the general population. Dr Lakatos emphasised that it is…

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