Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #organisms

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I'm very excited to say my book "How #Kant Matters for #Biology" will soon be published! The thread below explains some of the key issues dealt with. I'm essentially resituating Kant in relation to biology, especially with key figures in the develop of biology in the in Britain. Image
Please get in touch if you want to review, I can help get the book out to journals relevant for you.
Links for the book:
University of Wales Press:
Chicago University Press:
Chapter 1 focuses on debates about Kant's influence on biology. I push back against how #influence tends to be understood in #philosophyofscience and argue that we need to recognise the importance of #misunderstanding - especially for Kant's philosophy. 1/10
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The Correct answer is (D)
(1/4)Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) are devices that use bacteria as the catalysts to oxidize organic and inorganic matter and generate current.
(2/4)Electrons produced by the bacteria from these substrates are transferred to the anode (negative terminal) and flow to the cathode (positive terminal). Hence, statements 1 and 2 are correct.
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Thanks @DrDavidACox for interviewing me for this article on #LongCovid. There’s also great info in the article on research showing #viral RNA in the brains of patients w/ post-SARS syndrome, and viral reservoirs in patients w/ post-Ebola Syndrome:…
2/ The article reads: “Amy Proal, a microbiologist who runs the @polybioRF which studies the causes of chronic inflammatory diseases, believes that small amounts of #pathogens that linger beyond the reach of the immune system in remote pockets of the body...
3/ “...known as reservoirs or anatomical sanctuaries, are at least partially responsible for a whole range of post-infectious syndromes. This includes long #Covid, but also a number of mysterious illnesses which have puzzled scientists for decades, such as chronic Lyme disease..
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@sickanddamned @__ice9 @GemzME @Cov19longtail @VirusesImmunity @MBVanElzakker Walker hi - I very much disagree that #Borrelia or #EBV are typically ” long gone” in infected patients who develop chronic symptoms.
@sickanddamned @__ice9 @GemzME @Cov19longtail @VirusesImmunity @MBVanElzakker 2/ There is a large body of literature showing that even if such #organisms cannot be found in blood, they can persist in certain tissues or the central #nervous system where they are very hard to identify clinically
@sickanddamned @__ice9 @GemzME @Cov19longtail @VirusesImmunity @MBVanElzakker 3/ This is particularly obvious w/ EBV which is a #herpesvirus. Herpesviruses almost never “clear” after #infection, and symptom resolution is due to the immune system’s ability to contain the #virus in a non-replicating state
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Glad to see #ME/CFS mentioned as a disease potentially connected to immunometabolic reprogramming of host cells. But #pathogen activity in ME/CFS is severely understudied. For example, no team has yet searched for organisms in patient cerebrospinal fluid
2/ Further, numerous outbreaks of the disease have occurred that were directly linked to #enterovirus/coxsackie #viruses + autopsy studies of patients w/ ME/CFS have identified enteroviruses in patient brain tissue + stomach biospy samples:
3/ Moreover early studies on #microbiome activity in ME/CFS indicate dysbiosis of #bacterial communities in patients w/ the #disease, w/ one study noting an increase in bacterial phyla in patient blood after a symptom-provocation challenge:
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Very cool to see this hypothesis/paper w/ good examples of how conditions involving #microbiome/persistent infection may, at least to some extent, be communicable. It is indeed a very important consideration for public #health that I have called for myself over the past decade
2/ In that sense I wouldn’t personally call it a “radical new hypothesis.” A similar hypothesis formed the backbone of my graduate thesis and is already supported by a large body of evidence. Here’s a 2014 paper where our team goes into the topic:… Image
3/ We created this “wheel of co-morbidity” to show how often patients w/ 1 chronic condition develop a 2nd or 3rd - supporting a role for #microbiome-driven modulation of host metabolic/genetic pathways in the #diseases, w/ examples of how they involve communicable components Image
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This pilot study found that certain strains of #bacteria in Parmesan cheese (which are derived from cattle gut, milk and the local #environment) can colonize + persist in the guts of people who consume the cheese on a daily basis:… ImageImage
2/ The findings suggest that globalization must be impacting gut #microbiome composition in a growing # of people 👉 Think how an average USA supermarket imports cheese + other #foods from around the globe, meaning people are often consuming an “international” mix of #organisms
3/ I wonder if, in some people, the #gut is not prepared for influxes of so many different global organisms, and/or lacks #immunity against certain strains 👉 If yes, that cld partly explain why people who “eat locally” (their #food comes from the same area) sometimes feel better
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Here, in 24 sick patients admitted to ICU for longer periods, #microbiome diversity tended to decrease dramatically 👉 and subjects’ gut microbiomes often became dominated by pathogenic #bacteria that cld be passed from patient to patient:… ImageImage
2/2 A key takeaway from the study is that, under conditions of imbalance/immunosuppression, #organisms already present in a patient can evolve to become a serious pathogenic threat (eg there is not necessarily a need for a “new” external #infection)
3/3 Similarly, this Stanford team studied the source of bloodstream #infections in #hospitalized + immunocompromised patients 👉 In many cases, the same strain of a particular bloodstream #pathogen was also identified in a patients’ gut microbiome:… ImageImage
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This article details an important series of experiments by researchers at Penn State showing that the HPV #virus may travel through the bloodstream to drive #infection + associated #cancers (rather than only being acquired via sexual contact and remaining only in the genitals)👇
2/2 Indeed in rabbit/mouse models the team detected #HPV in mucosal membranes like the tongue and genitals, but also in the skin/#stomach (a significant finding b/c people with cancer are sometimes found to have papillomavirus sequences in their stomach + internal organs)
3/3 Jiafen Hu on the research team states 👉 “People who are receiving #blood transfusions typically have immune systems that aren't working optimally, so their systems are more vulnerable...We might want to think about adding HPV to the list of viruses...
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Important paper 👉 They identified several #microbiota components strongly associated w/ white blood cell dynamics☝️Supports the growing reality that we must study the human #immune response in concert w/ the increasing # of #organisms capable of persisting in humans
They also clarify that the #radiation + #chemotherapy administed to hematopoietic cell therapy (HCT) patients can cause loss of #microbiome diversity + commensal microbial families 👉 but microbiome diversity can recover during white blood cell reconstitution Image
That supports a 2nd important trend 👉 #Immunosuppressive treatments can negatively impact microbiome “health”, while supporting the immune response may have the opposite effect (improved #microbiome dynamics)
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Ok but how can we expect an analysis like this to produce definitive results without considering the #breast tissue #microbiome 👉 with special emphasis on the #organisms capable of persisting inside many of the cells delineated by the study:…
More on the breast tissue microbiome here 👉 “Characterization of human #breast tissue #microbiota from core needle biopsies through the analysis of multi hypervariable 16S-rRNA gene regions”:… ImageImageImageImage
Also interrsting 👉 Here, in primates, eating a Mediterranean #diet altered composition of the #breast tissue (mammary gland) microbiome + associated microbial metabolites in the region:… ImageImageImage
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Article below present new evidence showing “good' bacteria in #probiotics could evolve in the gut to do harm” 👉 What??? Just kidding, of course they can:)☝️Key statement from article is: "There is no microbe out there that is immune to evolution”:…
Also, what I wish these studies on evolving microbes would better consider is the state of a person’s #immune system 👉 Generally speaking a #microbe is less likely to evolve towards virulence if the immune response is “on its toes”☝️More context here:… ImageImage
Third as #probiotics are added to a growing # of consumer products, I think we could make more careful + intelligent decisions about using them if they were called “#organisms used for therapeutic purposes”☝️ opposed to “friendly” microbes
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Study isolated genomes of 150,000+ #microbes persisting in the human body (many previously unknown) 👉 This vastness of the human #microbiome is why I seldom focus on specific strains/species☝️and instead study shared #metabolite expression + common persistence mechanisms
Especially true b/c although the team did an impressive analysis, their technology did not yet account for many #viral and #eukaryotic genomes☝️Also data was derived from stool, skin, vagina + oral cavity only - meaning #organisms in other human body sites remain understudied ImageImage
Excellent @sminot blog on study states 👉 “..there are many new #microbes that we’ve never seen before. Some of those are new strains of clearly recognizable species...but some will be #novel organisms that have never been cultured or sequenced by any lab”…
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Interesting! 👉 But we may never find that holy grail (a common #microbiome dysbiosis tied to specific inflammatory conditions)☝️B/c the microbiome is so vast..that the metabolic dysfunction driven by different #organisms can result in similar clusters of #inflammatory symptoms
Yet we can still use/develop treatments based off “big picture” trends 👉 Eg: no two patients w/ #cancer have the same #tumor mutations☝️But #immununotherapy harnesses the broad potential of activated T cells to target tumors (w/ therapy “details” personalized per #patient)
Plus we’ve already established many common features of #microbiome dysbiosis 👉 KEY being the the ability of #microbes + #viruses to create proteins/metabolites that dysregulate human signaling pathways☝️Good example here:… ImageImage
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Disillusionment? No. 👉 Just last year, @Stanford’s Steven Quake identified over 3000 previouly undiscovered #viruses, #bacteria and fungal organisms in the #blood of immunocompromised subjects☝️Using cell-free #DNA sequencing that accounted for contamination...
Then concluded the paper by stating that the novel #organisms 👉 “...have potential consequences for human #health. They may prove to be the cause of acute or chronic #diseases that, to date, have unknown etiology…”☝️What hope for #microbiome-based therapies! ImageImageImageImage
Also, as #microbiome researcher, I am incredibly encouraged by the explosion of human #phage + #virome research in just the past years (+ associated tools for novel #virus identification) 👉 Plus, better #archea-targeting methodologies like those used… ImageImage
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