Tuesday, 11 June 2019

The bacteria building your baby

The bacteria building your baby: 

Exposure to influential bacteria begins before we are born, new evidence confirms

Researchers have laid to rest a longstanding controversy: Is the womb sterile? A new study used uniquely rigorous contamination controls to confirm that exposure to bacteria begins in the womb and could help to shape the developing fetal immune system, gut, and brain.

The not-so-sterile womb:

Over the last decade, numerous studies have detected bacterial DNA in amniotic fluid and first-pass meconium [baby's first poop], challenging the long-held assumption that the womb is sterile
It is important to conclusively determine whether the healthy womb harbors bacteria say the researchers, because this 'fetal microbiome' would likely have a significant impact on the developing immune system, gut, and brain.

The fetal microbiome:

Interestingly, the meconium microbiome varied hugely between individual newborns. The amniotic fluid microbiome, for the most part, contained typical skin bacteria, such as Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus species.

A developmental role:

But what might these bacteria be doing in the womb?

None of these women or their babies had any sign of infection. In fact, the fetal microbiome may prove to be a beneficial regulator of early development.

Researchers have found that levels of important immune modulators in meconium and inflammatory mediators in amniotic fluid varied according to the amount and species of bacterial DNA present. This suggests that the fetal microbiome has the potential to influence the developing fetal immune system.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Transgenic fungus rapidly killed malaria mosquitoes in West African study

Transgenic fungus rapidly killed malaria mosquitoes in West African study

A fungus - genetically enhanced to produce spider toxin - can rapidly kill huge numbers of the mosquitoes that spread malaria, a study suggests.
Trials, which took place in Burkina Faso, showed mosquito populations collapsed by 99% within 45 days. The researchers say their aim is not to make the insects extinct but to help stop the spread of malaria. The disease, which is spread when female mosquitoes drink blood, kills more than 400,000 people per year.
Worldwide, there are about 219 million cases of malaria each year.

How it was done??

1.  Conducting the study, researchers at the University of Maryland in the US - and the IRSS research institute in Burkina Faso - first identified a fungus called Metarhizium pingshaense, which naturally infects the Anopheles mosquitoes that spread malaria.

2.  The next stage was to enhance the fungus. "They're very malleable, you can genetically engineer them very easily," Prof Raymond St Leger, from the University of Maryland. They turned to a toxin found in the venom of a species of funnel-web spider in Australia. The genetic instructions for making the toxin were added to the fungus's own genetic code so it would start making the toxin once it was inside a mosquito.
Laboratory tests showed the genetically modified fungus could kill quicker, and that it took fewer fungal spores to do the job. 

3.  The next step was to test the fungus in as close to real-world conditions as possible. 
A 6,500-sq-ft fake village - complete with plants, huts, water sources and food for the mosquitoes - was set up in Burkina Faso. It was surrounded by a double layer of mosquito netting to prevent anything from escaping. 
The fungal spores were mixed with sesame oil and wiped on to black cotton sheets. The mosquitoes had to land on the sheets to be exposed to the deadly fungus. The researchers started the experiments with 1,500 mosquitoes. 
Tests also showed the fungus was specific to these mosquitoes and did not affect other insects such as bees.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

23rd World Congress on Biotechnology on November 14-15, 2019 at Amsterdam, Netherlands

23rd World Congress on Biotechnology

November 14-15, 2019 | Amsterdam, Netherlands

Conference Series is organizing a "23rd World Congress on Biotechnology" on November 14-15, 2019 at Amsterdam, Netherlands. The theme of the conference is “Exploration of latest Applications in the field of Biotechnology”.

  • Networking with experts in the field
  •  Live streaming of your presentation through our websites and YouTube
  • e-Poster opportunity
  •  Student delegate
  •  Best poster competitions and young researcher competitions
  •  Career guidance workshops to the graduates, doctorates and post-doctoral fellows

The bacteria building your baby

The bacteria building your baby:  Exposure to influential bacteria begins before we are born, new evidence confirms Researc...