Stein and colleagues describe in their study, published in PLOS computational biology, how time series can help to study dynamics of the microbiota. Moreover, unlike usual cross sectional studies which lack a mechanistic understanding of the ecosystem's structure and its
Stein and colleagues describe in their study, published in PLOS computational biology, how time series can help to study dynamics of the microbiota. Moreover, unlike usual cross sectional studies which lack a mechanistic understanding of the ecosystem’s structure and its response to external perturbations, modelling dynamics can help to predict and recover the microbiota temporal dynamics. For example, they modeled how antibiotics can help Clostridium difficile to perpetuate the intestinal ecosystem.
Conceptual figure highlighting the difference between our approach and the currently available methods for microbiota analysis. Used input data are the temporal records of microbial total abundances (colored bars on left) and the temporal signal of external perturbations (e.g. presence/absence or concentration). (A) Example and list of current computational approaches used to analyze community data for microbiota studies. (B) Our approach uses ecological modeling to infer a network of microbial interactions, susceptibilities to external perturbations and growth rates. The inferred parameters are used in an ecological community model which can then be used to predict ecosystem dynamics and to identify steady states.
Bacteria in human milk play an important role in kick-starting the colonization of an infant’s gut. Researchers are looking at how perinatal and environmental factors may shape the overlooked fungi in breast milk.
Human microbiota-associated mice studies are considered a cornerstone model in microbiome research and may contribute to microbiome-based therapies moving quickly towards clinical use. A new perspective from Jens Walter and colleagues explores the model’s limitations and makes suggestions for improving experimental rigor when testing for causality in microbiome research.
It is largely recognized that a high-salt diet can lead to hypertension. A new randomized controlled trial reports that, particularly in females with untreated hypertension, reducing salt intake to recommended levels is linked to decreased blood pressure, more compliant blood vessels and increased serum levels of short-chain fatty acids.