Research News

UK Biobank: looking at the whole person

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 09:55

The UK Biobank has launched the largest body scanning project in the world. Funded by the MRC, Wellcome Trust and British Heart Foundation, the biobank will scan 100,000 people to provide images of their brains, hearts, bones, carotid arteries and abdominal fat.

Head of the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London Professor Paul Matthews is one of the academic experts who have been supporting UK Biobank to create this resource and he explains how it could prove invaluable to all areas of medicine.

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To the Crick! Part three: From polystyrene proteins to circuit board spaghetti

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 09:45

Conservators Rebecca Bennett and Jill Barnard talk about their project, funded by PRISM, to conserve 150 items from the Crick Mill Hill Laboratory (previously the MRC National Institute for Medical Research, NIMR) in preparation for the move to the Francis Crick Institute. The objects will be used by the Crick for exhibition and may also be loaned to education groups with an interest in the history of biomedical research.

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MRC - Testing times for antimicrobial resistance

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 09:38

In a diagnosis of the global superbug threat today, economist Jim O’Neill includes a recommendation that doctors test patients to find out if their infection is bacterial before prescribing them antibiotics. MRC-funded researcher Dr Tariq Sadiq at St George’s Institute of Infection and Immunity writes on the MRC website about his research to develop better diagnostic tests that will help us get these results faster so we can make better use of antibiotics. Dr Sadiq explains the need to improve diagnostics in clinics and out in hard-to-reach populations around the world to combat widespread antimicrobial resistance...

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Distinct Fecal Microbiota Pattern Associated with Infant Bronchiolitis

Tuesday, 28 June 2016 08:40

NEJM’s Physician’s First Watch reported on a case-control study published in Pediatrics, which announced that a Bacteroides-dominated gut microbiota is associated with a higher risk of bronchiolitis in infants. Investigators matched 40 infants hospitalized with bronchiolitis with 115 healthy control patients (median age, 3 months), recruited from a primary care practice. Using faecal samples collected during hospitalization (cases) or at home prior to a clinic visit (controls), researchers conducted 16S rRNA bacterial gene sequencing. Four distinct microbiota profiles were identified: Escherichia-dominant (30%), Bacteroides-dominant (28%), Enterobacter/Veillonella-dominant (22%), and Bifidobacterium-dominant (21%). Following multivariable adjustment, the Bacteroides-dominant profile was significantly associated with increased risk for bronchiolitis, compared with the Enterobacter/Veillonella-dominant profile (odds ratio, 3.9). The authors of the study noted that the gut microbiota may modulate immune function in distant locations such as the respiratory tract. Modulation of the gut microbiota may, in turn, affect susceptibility to infection.

Pediatrics online-first website (Free) and commentary (open access); the abstract of the Pediatrics article itself is freely available, but the full text requires subscriber login.

Complete NEJM Journal Watch Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine summary (Free)

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