Category Archives: microbiomes
Kisaco Research – sponsoring YAMMMM – yet another mostly male microbiome meeting – again – not their first biased rodeo
Happening next week in Kansas City. Run by Kisaco Research. I have written about their propensity to have meetings where most of the speakers were white men previously. See
- Another white men's microbiome meeting from Kisaco #YAMMM #manel #STEMDiversity
- The White Men's Microbiome Congress #YAMMM #Manel #Boycott
A while back I coined the term "YAMMM" - yet another mostly male meeting - to reflect my frustration in seeing meetings where most of the presenters were male:
What to do when you realize the meeting you are speaking at is a YAMMM (yet another mostly male meeting)?
I have since written dozens of posts about such meetings. Sadly this is not an unusual thing. Fortunately there has been a growing movement in many communities, including in science, to critique and not support such "MANELs". Progress is definitely being made. But it is piecemeal and in my opinion we must still keep up the fight for meetings and conferences to better reflect the diversity of people doing interesting and important work that should be heard. I am sure many fields still are seeing slow progress in this area but one that frustrates me personally is the microbiome arena. So today I am coining a new term - YAMMMM (note the extra M). Yet Another Mostly Male Microbiome Meeting.
I decided to update my mini image about this so I went to world and entered some common male names and some numbers for them.
I then added a little header
So if you see a YAMMMM - please feel free to use this image.
Here are our highlights from July’s PLOS Computational Biology Neutral Models of Microbiome Evolution There has been an explosion of research on host-associated microbial communities (i.e.,microbiomes) and how they correlate with host health, disease, phenotype, physiology and ecology. However, few … Continue reading
The post Microbiome Evolution, Molecular Recognition and Interaction Webs: the PLOS Comp Biol July Issue appeared first on PLOS Blogs Network.
Here are some highlights from June’s PLOS Computational Biology Inference of Network Dynamics and Metabolic Interactions in the Gut Microbiome The community of bacteria that live in our intestines (called the “gut microbiome”) is important to normal intestinal function, … Continue reading
The post Spinal Cord Injury, Gut Microbiome, and White-Plague Coral Disease: the PLOS Comp Biol June Issue appeared first on PLOS Blogs Network.
Guest post by Katie Dahlhausen on her project on "The effect of antibiotics for chlamydia on koalas and their microbiomes"
Koala populations across Australia are on a rapid decline due to many culprits including habitat loss, being hit by cars, attacks by dogs, and the Chlamydia infection. Yes, that’s right, Chlamydia. And when koalas are brought into wildlife hospitals, they are treated with antibiotics to cure their Chlamydia infection. Although ridding koalas of Chlamydia, the antibiotics also kill off important gut microbes that are essential to the koala’s life biology. Koalas eat a diet solely of eucalyptus leaves, which would be poisonous to the koalas if it wasn’t for the tannin-protein-complex-degrading enterobacteria that break down the toxic components of the koala’s diet. Brace yourself, because the koala’s biology gets even more interesting! Mother koalas feed their young joeys a substance called pap, a fecal matter more concentrated in nutrients and microbes than normal feces. This form of a natural fecal transplant allows the joeys to colonize the critical gut microbes necessary for them to eat noxious eucaplytus leaves. But what does this mean for joeys whose mothers have been administered antibiotics?
My name is Katie Dahlhausen and I am A PhD student in Jonathan’s lab. I am crowd-funding a project to study this fascinating koala biology, as well as investigate alternative infectious disease treatment where antibiotics are not a viable option. Want to help out these adorable critters? You can support the Indiegogo campaign here, which is live until June 16, 2015. More information about the project is available on the crowdfunding page, and in these recent articles published in Scientific American and the Washington Post.
So how did I get into this project? Well, When I was at the Australia Wildlife Zoo in Australia last September, there was a sign next to the koala exhibit with picture of a joey whose mouth was covered in a brown substance. The sign read something like "It's not chocolate!" and explained the pap part of the koala's biology.
The moment I read this I knew there was some fascinating microbiology questions that were begging to be answered. While researching the microbiology behind this behavior, I found a study the recorded the detrimental effects antibiotics had on a koala's eating habit and inability to maintain weight, but the question of how antibiotics were effecting the microbial composition of koala's guts remained unsolved. That is how this whole project started. Like most people, I think koalas are cute and appreciate how iconic they are to Australia. Otherwise, I'm not very attached to koalas - they are actually quite mean and antisocial! But koalas are a fantastic model system - one food source, plenty of sampling opportunities (in Australia at least), frequently given antibiotics, and clear mechanism of the transfer of microbes from mother to offspring. The implications of the study are vast, but are aimed at the care for animals in captivity and foster changes in how/when we administer antibiotics.