Now, researchers have discovered that GERD is associated with global alteration of the microbiome in the esophagus.
The findings, reported in the August 1, 2009 issue of Gastroenterology, may provide for the foundation for further study of the condition as a microecological disease with new treatment possibilities.
The findings of an altered microbiome may have profound implications for treating diseases of the esophagus, among the most common disorders affecting Western populations. In fact, about 40% of adults experience heartburn symptoms at least once a month. Chronic inflammation associated with GERD can lead to the development of Barrett’s esophagus, precancerous condition. The incidence of cancer of the esophagus has increased six-fold since the 1970s--the fastest increasing cancer in the Western world.
“These findings have opened a new approach to understanding the pathogenesis of reflux-related disorders,” states Zhiheng Pei, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and lead author of the study. “At this time, we don’t yet know whether the changes in bacterial populations are triggering GERD or are simply a response to it. But if changes in the bacterial population do indeed cause reflux, it may be possible to design new therapies with antibiotics, probiotic bacteria or prebiotics.”
Researchers collected and sequenced bacteria from the esophagus of 34 patients, both healthy and those suffering from GERD (specifically esophagitis and Barrett’s esophagus). They found a high concentration of Streptococcus in the esophagus of healthy patients. In contrast, an altered type of microbiome dominated by Gram-negative bacteria was contained in greater proportions in those patients with esophagitis and Barrett’s esophagus.
The human microbiome is comprised of all the microorganisms that reside in or on the human body, as well as all their DNA, or genomes. Microbial cells in the human body are estimated to outnumber human cells by a factor of ten to one. These communities, or microbiomes, however remain largely unstudied, leaving almost entirely unknown their influence upon human development, physiology, immunity and nutrition.
In order to analyze the makeup of these microbial organisms, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the Human Microbiome Project in 2007 and awarded $115 million in research grants over five years to examine the relationship between the microbiome in a specific niche in the body to a particular disease. This study was sponsored by the NIH to examine how changes in microbioal populations correlate with changes in human health.About NYU Langone Medical Center
Dorie Klissas | Newswise Science News
Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance
25.09.2017 | Institut Pasteur
MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer
25.09.2017 | Case Western Reserve University
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy