ISB News

Jennifer Hadlock, Andrew Magis and Chengzhen Dai

COVID-19 Outcome Disparities Across Racial/Ethnic Lines

ISB researchers and their collaborators looked at the electronic health records of nearly 630,000 patients who were tested for SARS-CoV-2, and found stark disparities in COVID-19 outcomes — odds of infection, hospitalization, and in-hospital mortality — between White and non-White minority racial and ethnic groups.

Dr. Wei Wei and Dr. Xiaowei Yan

A Better Way to Find Circulating Tumor Cells in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients

Despite the aggressive nature of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), circulating tumor cells that lead to metastases often go undetected in the blood. ISB researchers in Dr. Wei Wei’s lab and their collaborators have developed a novel method to better detect these circulating cells.

Drs. Nitin Baliga and Serdar Turkarslan

ISB Researchers Discover How Microorganisms Evolve Cooperative Behaviors

ISB research sheds light on how interspecies interactions arise, evolve and are maintained. The results, published in The ISME Journal, provide a new window to understand the key roles of these interactions in industrial applications, and in the health and disease of humans, animals and plants.

The Aging Microbiome

Gut Microbiome Implicated in Healthy Aging and Longevity

The gut microbiome is an integral component of the body, but its importance in the human aging process is unclear. ISB researchers and their collaborators have identified distinct signatures in the gut microbiome that are associated with either healthy or unhealthy aging trajectories, which in turn predict survival in a population of older individuals.

Drs. Naeha Subramanian, Leah Rommereim Gilmore, and Ajay Suresh Akhade

Small, Persistent Increase in the Expression of NOD1 May Promote Cancer Risk

ISB researchers have found that a small, persistent increase in the expression of NOD1 could be responsible for higher cancer risks. The research team found that a slight 1.5-fold uptick in NOD1 expression can activate the protein and downstream signaling pathways in a manner similar to vast (30- to 200-fold) overexpression.

Baliga, Peterson and Srinivas

ISB Creates PerSort, a New Cell Sorting Technology Aimed at Studying Tuberculosis

ISB researchers Dr. Nitin Baliga, Dr. Eliza Peterson and Dr. Vivek Srinivas have developed a new cell sorting technology, called PerSort, that isolates and characterizes dormant persisters that exist in cultures of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the pathogen that causes tuberculosis.

Priyanka Baloni

Bile Acids Provide More Evidence of the Gut Microbiome’s Effect on Alzheimer’s Disease

ISB researchers and their collaborators are looking beyond the one-drug, one-solution approach that has thus far failed in Alzheimer’s disease research. Instead, they are focusing on other promising research avenues, such as the possible role of the gut microbiome in dementia.

Subramanian and Akhade

How Salmonella Co-Opts the Host Immune System to Conceal Itself

While scientists have long studied bacterial infections, less attention has been paid to how the host immune response affects bacterial gene expression in the body. In a just-published paper in PNAS, ISB researchers detailed how the bacterium Salmonella conceals itself from the host immune system.

Corresponding author and ISB President Dr. Jim Heath and lead author Dr. Yapeng Su.

COVID-19 Immune Response Study Could Lead to More Effective Treatments

Findings from the ISB-Swedish COVID-19 Immune Response Study suggest that treatments aimed at arresting the infection at the stage of moderate severity may be most effective. The team studied 139 patients and found that mild COVID-19 is very distinct from the moderate or severe forms of disease, which appear surprisingly similar.

Andrew Magis

ISB Researchers Identify Signals of Metastatic Cancer Years Prior to Diagnosis

By analyzing blood plasma samples taken at several time points, ISB researchers have identified specific proteins that persistently presented as outliers and signaled metastatic cancer well before patients were diagnosed. The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Illustration depicting an individual's genetic risk for disease being "reflected."

ISB Researchers Show Genetic Risk for Disease Often Reflected in Our Blood

Diseases develop gradually over years, sometimes decades, before symptoms appear, and are due to malfunctioning physiological processes brought about by our genes and environment. In research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), ISB researchers have shown how an individual’s genetic risk for disease is often reflected in their blood.

Bacterial tug of war between prevotella and bacteroides -- gut microbiome

It’s ‘Either/Or’ for Two Common Gut Microbiome Genera, and Switching Teams Is Tougher Than Expected

There is a dichotomy between Bacteroides- and Prevotella-dominated guts — two common gut bacterial genera — and there is a significant barrier when it comes to transitioning from one to the other.

Corresponding author and ISB President Dr. Jim Heath and lead author Dr. Yapeng Su.

For Cancer Cells, There Is More Than One Path to Drug Resistance

In findings published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers show that cancer cells can take more than one path to reach a drug-resistant cell state. These findings could have promising implications for the future of cancer care.

ISB researchers

Unveiling the Guerrilla Warfare Tactics of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

ISB researchers have unveiled new insights on how Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the pathogen that causes tuberculosis, enters and exits a dormant state in human hosts. About a quarter of the world’s population has latent TB, so these important findings will enable and accelerate the discovery of more effective TB drugs.

Dr. Jeff Ranish and Dr. Mark Gillespie

Mysteries of Cell Fate Unlocked with New Measurement and Modeling Techniques

In the cellular process of differentiation, information about the concentrations of an important class of proteins residing in a cell’s nucleus has been lacking, a missing link needed for scientists to fully understand how the process works. ISB researchers have quantified this important class of proteins that play a key role in the formation of red blood cells.

Sean Gibbons

Metabolomics Reveals Connection Between Gut Microbiome and Blood

Alpha diversity in the gut microbiome holds many clues to understanding human health. This blog post by Metabolon details how those clues are more accessible because ISB researchers can predict the diversity of an individual’s gut microbiome by examining metabolites in the blood. These findings were recently published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

soldier

ISB Researchers Seek a Better Way to Identify Chronic Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has been a frequent injury among U.S. combatants, and blast-related mTBI has been called the “signature injury” from military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. ISB researchers are working to develop new methods to identify molecular changes in the blood of war veterans diagnosed with chronic mTBI.

Dr. Christian Diener, postdoc in ISB's Gibbons Lab.

New Modeling Tool Allows Microbiome Researchers to Map Community Ecology to Ecosystem Function

A promising new open-source metabolic modeling tool provides microbiome researchers a path forward in predicting ecosystem function from community structure. News of the software package, called MICOM, was developed in part by researchers in ISB’s Gibbons Lab, and its uses were published in the journal mSystems.