Showing posts with label bacteria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bacteria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bacteria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bacteria. Show all posts

Monday, August 03, 2015

Link Found between Depression and Intestinal Bacterium

Scientists have found that intestinal bacteria play an important role in inducing anxiety and depression.

Published in Nature Communications, the new research is the first of which studies the role of intestinal microbiota in the altered behaviour that is a consequence of early life stress. Previously there has been little research on this subject. All scientists knew was that intestinal bacterium can affect behaviour, but this was all based upon research conducted on healthy mice.

[Definition:  Microbiota - noun – the microorganisms of a particular site, habitat, or geological period.]

"We have shown for the first time in an established mouse model of anxiety and depression that bacteria play a crucial role in inducing this abnormal behaviour," said Premysl Bercik, senior author of the paper and an associate professor of medicine with McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. "But it's not only bacteria, it's the altered bi-directional communication between the stressed host -- mice subjected to early life stress -- and its microbiota, that leads to anxiety and depression."

Within this study, the researchers subjected mice to early life stress with a procedure of maternal separation, meaning that from day three to 21, newborn mice were separated for three hours each day from their mothers and then put back with them.

Initially, Bercik and his team confirmed that conventional mice with complex microbiota. These mice also showed gut dysfunction based on the release of a major neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.
After that, they repeated the same experiment in germ-free conditions and found that in the absence of bacteria mice which were maternally separated still have altered stress hormone levels and gut dysfunction, but they behaved similar to the control mice, not showing any signs of anxiety or depression.
Subsequently, they found that when the maternally separated germ-free mice are colonized with bacteria from control mice, the bacterial composition and metabolic activity changed within several weeks, and the mice started exhibiting anxiety and depression.
"However, if we transfer the bacteria from stressed mice into non stressed germ-free mice, no abnormalities are observed. This suggests that in this model, both host and microbial factors are required for the development of anxiety and depression-like behaviour. Neonatal stress leads to increased stress reactivity and gut dysfunction that changes the gut microbiota which, in turn, alters brain function," said Bercik.

He said that with this new research, "We are starting to explain the complex mechanisms of interaction and dynamics between the gut microbiota and its host. Our data show that relatively minor changes in microbiota profiles or its metabolic activity induced by neonatal stress can have profound effects on host behaviour in adulthood."
Bercik said this is another step in understanding how microbiota can shape host behaviour, and that it may extend the original observations into the field of psychiatric disorders.

"It would be important to determine whether this also applies to humans. For instance, whether we can detect abnormal microbiota profiles or different microbial metabolic activity in patients with primary psychiatric disorders, like anxiety and depression," said Bercik.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

What You Should Know About Hand Sanitizers

Hand sanitizer is everywhere, you find it in almost every store you go to and it’s widely available in hospitals. Hand sanitizing is beneficial to protect ourselves from harmful bacteria and viruses that can make us ill. Most people carry a bottle of hand sanitizer in their bag, especially when travelling (and especially on the London underground). 

I was surprised to see that there is a video, scaring people from using hand sanitizer; featured in IF******LoveScience and DNews. 

Recently new research has been published which tries to oppose the use of hand sanitizer by blaming its use on increased absorption of BPA levels in the body. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is used in a variety of consumer products, such as water bottles, dental composites and resins used to line metal food and beverage containers, and also is used in thermal paper cash register receipts. First data has emerged that BPA from thermal paper used in cash register receipts accounts for high levels of BPA in humans. Subjects studied showed a rapid increase of BPA in their blood after using the skin care product and then touching a store receipt with BPA.

Scientists at the University of Missouri tested human subjects who cleaned their hands with hand sanitizer and then held thermal paper receipts. As an added step, subjects who had handled the thermal paper, they then made them eat French fries with their hands; as a result, BPA was absorbed very quickly.

"Our research found that large amounts of BPA can be transferred to your hands and then to the food you hold and eat as well as be absorbed through your skin," vom Saal said. "BPA exhibits hormone-like properties and has been proven to cause reproductive defects in foetuses, infants, children and adults as well as cancer, metabolic and immune problems in rodents. BPA from thermal papers will be absorbed into your blood rapidly; at those levels, many diseases such as diabetes and disorders such as obesity increase as well. Use of BPA or other similar chemicals that are being used to replace BPA in thermal paper pose a threat to human health."

Furthermore, the BPA from thermal receipts is only activated if your hands are WET WITH hand sanitizer (which is highly unlikely).

What they fail to reiterate in the video is that the hand sanitizer was used contains triclosan (an antibiotic and anti-fungal agent), the culprit that makes BPA absorb into the body faster and that triclosan is based in non-alcohol hand sanitizers. They also fail to mention that the most popular hand sanitizers are the alcohol based ones. They have no triclosan in it at all. The active ingredient in alcohol based hand sanitizers is: Ethanol (57.6%). 

Why is hand sanitizer utilized in hospitals then?

A study published in 2010 (by researchers from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville and Dial Corporation, Scottsdale, in the journal of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy),  suggests that hand sanitizers containing ethanol are much more effective at removing rhinovirus from hands than washing with soap and water. Sanitizers containing both ethanol and organic acids significantly reduced recovery of the virus from hands and rhinovirus infection up to 4 hours following application. Results showed that the ethanol hand sanitizer removed approximately 80% of detectable rhinovirus from hands and was much more effective than no treatment, water alone, or soap and water. Soap and water removed rhinovirus from 31% of hands. Proving that alcohol-based hand sanitizer can is beneficial in preventing illnesses due to viruses such as the rhinovirus.

So what can we take out of this post? That not giving the full information behind any story can lead to misinformation and scaremongering of people. 

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bacteria Decides if you’ll be Fat or Thin

Some people can’t lose weight and some people can’t put it on and I’m one of those people that people hate because I can eat whatever I want without gaining a pound whilst my friends find it extremely difficult to lose weight and all that is because we have different metabolisms to each other. It’s also a well known fact that we get our looks from our parents so it won’t be a surprise if I tell you that we also inherit our weight from our parents too. 

The first research of its kind has found that the existence of a particular type of bacteria in our gut has the potential to determine if the person will be fat or thin and it can actually be inherited through our DNA not just by our environmental factors.

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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Ozone Nano-Bubble Water: Breakthrough for Chemists and Dentists

Ozone is typically associated with the ozone layer that surrounds the Earth and any articles about it are usually about the size of the hole in the ozone layer and how and what affects it every day. But that isn't what this article is about.

This blog post is about how ozone can be bubbled into water to make nano-bubble water that is a powerful antiseptic agent that can be used to treat periodontitis and other dental related problems. The new research was published in the journal: Science and Technology of advanced materials.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Manipulation of Anthrax to Deliver Cancer Drugs to Tumours

Cancer is acknowledged as one of the most dangerous biological diseases and there are many ongoing research studies to try and find suitable drugs to cure the uncontrollable cell replication. Cancer is caused when cells replicate unusually and rapidly to form tumours, this is because the cell does not undergo apoptosis (the normal programmed cell death) and these tumours need to be treated so that the disease does not further spread to the rest of the body and so that the tumours do not cause pressure on other parts of the body.[1] In 2008 breast cancer was responsible for the death of about 153 women in every 100,000 women in the population [1] and about 76 cases of lung cancer per 100,000 men.[1] These statistics have led to an escalation in the development of new treatments in an attempt to impede the uncontrolled cell replication typical of cancer cells.



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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Combating E. coli Drug Resistance by Mutation

Bacterial mutation can be caused by a number of factors, such as genetic mutation and genetic transfer. This mutation causes them to become resistant to antibiotics, making life harder for researchers and starting a new strain of resistant bacteria which could potentially be life threatening.


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Monday, August 11, 2014

Should we fear the Ebola virus or not?


“Breaking news: Ebola virus has been declared as an international public health emergency by the World Health organization”

That sentence was the first thing I saw when I logged into Facebook as I’ve started planning and writing this article.

What is the Ebola virus (EBOV)?


The Ebola virus is a very terrible disease and lethal if caught and it has a high fatality rate of 60% (WHO 01/04/2014) [1] Ebola is not an airborne virus but it can be spread via bodily fluids such as sweat and its recommended that you don’t shake hands with anyone who could potential carry the disease or has recovered and still in recuperation period.

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