TMBC Monthly Newsletter, February 2017, V3

Every month The Microbiome Coalition (TMBC) will bring you the latest in research, news and information to keep you up to date on the microbiome industry.

Microbiome in the Spotlight

Merriam-Webster Welcomes "Microbiome"  To The English Language

Perhaps you were not aware, what with all the time and energy you invest in your microbiome activities daily, that microbiome was not even a recognized word in the English language! Just this week Merriam-Webster added the 100 billion bacteria to the lexicon, check out the brilliantly broad definition here

It may not seem of great import, but having a defined lexicon allows everyone to speak the same language, to be on the same page and supports the continued growth and awareness of the industry.   

In the News

Method of birth does not effect microbiome composition
Contrary to established belief, a new study published by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine found that the mode of delivery, vaginal versus cesarean section, did not affect infants’ microbiome composition when controlled for indication and other associated factors. Continuing to demonstrate our rapidly evolving understanding in this nascent field and that what we "know" today, may not be what we "know" tomorrow. Full article here

Microbiome modeling with Gusto
Spun out of the University of Chicago's new Microbiome Center and led by Jack Gilbert, Gusto has licensed a string of technologies with an aim to address the ongoing challenges in the industry and provide better understanding of the MOA of individual microorganisms. Full article here

Rebalancing gut microbiome lengthens survival in mouse model of ALS
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine report that in a mouse model of ALS, the compound butyrate helped correct a gut microbiome imbalance and reduced gut leakiness -- both symptoms of ALS. The treated mice lived also longer compared to mice that weren't given butyrate. Full article here

UCSD/Venter Institute Leverage ML to Study the Microbiome
Recently, researchers from University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the J.C. Venter Institute (JCVI) used machine learning to teach a computer to learn to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy gut microbiomes. The new approach shows promise for use in quickly deciphering microbiome genomes, predicting related-health issues, and providing guidance for therapy development. Full article here

Fecal Microbiota Transplant May Benefit Autistic Children
The researchers studied the impact of microbiota transfer therapy on gut microbiota composition and gastrointestinal and ASD symptoms of 18 ASD-diagnosed children. The program consisted of two weeks of antibiotic treatment, a bowel cleanse, and then an extended fecal microbiota transplant using a high initial dose followed by daily and lower maintenance doses for seven to eight weeks. Full article here

Conference Highlight

Arrowhead 3rd Annual Translational Microbiome Conference, April 11-13, Boston
Arrowhead continues to focus on and address the challenges and hurdles that companies working in the microbiome space must recognize and navigate in order to successfully commercialize their products. With a broad focus spanning multiple disease states (oncology, dermatology, inflammatory disorders, among others) attendees will have the opportunity to hear the leading companies discuss the work they have underway and how they are meeting these challenges head on to apply recent discoveries to a variety of disease processes, restoration of health and improved outcomes. Conference website here

Microbiome Awards, Fellowships and Prizes

NSF awards $3 million for plant and animal microbiome and phenomics research
To better understand the role microbiomes play in human health and in ecosystems around the world, the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Biological Sciences has awarded $3 million in Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER). In addition to microbiomes, the research will focus on plant and animal phenomics -- the study of the physical and biochemical traits of organisms as they change in response to genetic mutations and environmental influences. Read full press release here

Promoting Greater Understanding of the Roleof the Microbiome in Human Health and Wellness