Trillions of bugs known as gut microbes live symbiotically in the human gut. They play a key role in many of the processes that take place inside the body. Different people have different types of gut microbes living inside them and abnormalities in some types have recently been linked to diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
The authors of the Perspective argue that targeting gut microbes with new drug therapies, rather than concentrating on the mechanisms in the human body which are the current focus of most drug development programmes, could provide an array of uncharted possibilities for fighting disease. Much research is still needed to untangle the precise role played by each different type of bug.
Professor Jeremy Nicholson, one of the authors of the Perspective from the Department of Biomolecular Medicine at Imperial College London, explained: "It's only recently that we've discovered the huge influence that bugs in the gut have on people's health. The exciting thing about this is that it should be easier to create drugs that can change the bugs than it is to re-engineer human cells and signalling pathways inside the body. Also, if we're not interfering with the body's pathways, these drugs should have less toxic side-effects."
Research has already shown that the makeup of an individual's gut microbes is affected by their diet and other environmental factors. A recent study led by scientists from Imperial College showed that it is possible to alter the makeup of bugs in a mouse's gut, affecting their metabolism, using probiotics.
"We already know that external factors such as altering your diet can change the makeup of the bugs in your gut, so these kinds of therapies will mean a more holistic approach to medicine, looking not just at pharmaceutical treatments but also at lifestyle and nutrition. I think that in ten years' time it will be normal for scientists to take gut bugs into consideration when they are creating new medicines," added Professor Nicholson.
Laura Gallagher | alfa
Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences