As partners in the international research consortium named MetaHit, scientists from the University of Copenhagen have contributed to show that an individual's intestinal bacteria flora, regardless of nationality, gender and age, organises itself in certain clusters.
The cluster of intestinal bacteria flora is hypothesised to have an influence on how we react to both our diet and medicine absorbed through the gastro-intestinal tract. The results have recently been published in the journal Nature.
Most people know about blood types, some also know about tissue types. However, now we may need to consider intestinal bacteria types as well. As part of a large, international research consortium, scientists from the University of Copenhagen have recently contributed to map special "enterotypes", which are three distinctive clusters of bacteria in the human distal gut. Each of these enterotypes reflects a certain balance between various categories of bacteria in the distal gut, and is thought to impact intestinal bacteria digest food leavings, and utilise these for energy delivery to the gut and the whole body energy metabolism, and on how various drugs are absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract.
The outcome of the project has recently been reported in the journal Nature's online publication for results that deserve immediate exposure.
"The discovery of enterotypes is expected to influence future research within a number of fields," explains Professor Oluf Borbye Pedersen, professor at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the Faculty of Health Sciences, the University of Copenhagen, and also one of the lead investigators in the international research consortium MetaHIT, which has conducted the project.
"Our results show that we may have uncovered a new 'biological fingerprint' on the same level as blood types and tissue types. The three enterotypes occur across nationalities and are independent of gender and age. Every enterotype has a certain composition of bacteria that have specific functions, for example energy production from degradation of dietary fibres or formation of certain vitamins. This may potentially affect a number of biological functions – discoveries which at a later stage may be translated into individual diet advice or design of drugs that are adapted to the individual enterotype," Oluf Borbye Pedersen adds.
He underlines that the results published in Nature do not show anything about the precise mechanisms by which the three enterotypes individually affect people that host the bacteria. After further research, more intestinal bacteria clusters will most likely be added to the three enterotypes, which have been identified so far. However, the discovery of their existence gives researchers new opportunities for studying how the about 1.5-kilo gut bacteria, which we all have in our digestive system, affects our health.
The researchers from MetaHIT, an international EU-supported project, have studied 278 volunteers in total from Denmark, Italy, Spain, France, Japan and USA for the paper in Nature. From Denmark, several scientists have contributed from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen; the Lundbeck Foundations Genomics Center, LuCamp; and from the Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, Institute for System Biology at the Technical University of Denmark.
Prof Oluf Borbye Pedersen | EurekAlert!
Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University
Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences