A Common Virus is Eating Your Gut: Bacteria

The time a person is most human is before birth. After you’re born, the environment’s microbes surround your body and outnumber them by as much as 10 to one.

Because some microbes offer protection and others may make a person sick, scientists have been instrumental in exploring the correlation they have when it comes to a person’s health and wellness.

Instead of growing the species and deciphering their DNA sequence in order to make genomes, researchers obtain samples from a particular location such as the belly. Metagenome is collected material that is found when the DNA is chopped and read.

Through this inexpensive process, metagenome data can be generated in significant amounts through the nose, skin, mouth and both the gastrointestinal and urogenital regions of an adult. It can also be used to discover unfamiliar microbes such as a bacteriophage virus known as crAssphage.

crAssphage is a bacteria eating virus that can infect and ravage the gut. While it has been known to behave both in bad and good respects, it spends most of the time in a creative and harmonious companionable home that allows an individual to digest the foods they eat. However, it can also wreak havoc by causing complicated issues such as obesity, cancer and diabetes.

Discovered by Dr. Bas Dutilh, the genome was reconstructed from DNA fragments. When it came to programming, the initial name was touted solely as the new virus. However, Dr. Dutilh wanted the chance to endorse his computer tool as a method of terminology and ended up naming it crAssphage (cross Assembly).

Because the metagenome has DNA fragments that make up the populace of microbes, reconstructing the genome was a difficult challenge to accomplish. Some may even compare this to pieces in a puzzle that are combined together from hundreds of different designs. In order to put it all together the various species are uses as a method of guidance. However, how do you even complete the process if you aren’t sure that it actually exists?

Based on the fragmented DNA, the computer tool is able to piece the genomes together and match them to the metagenome. To make this easier to understand, say you would find a puzzle piece with thats distinct shape is the same from other boxes. Unfortunately, box A would contain 10 copies, and the other container houses 100. Using is crAss computer software, Dutilh worked with other researchers at San Diego State University. Here they took 12 individuals and analyzed the faecal metagenomes to reveal the distinct DNA fragments. Based on one of the stool samples, their crAssphage diagnosis was confirmed.

It was then the responsibility of the researchers to look through the public databases. Approximately 70 percent of the virus was detected from areas that include South Korea, United States and Europe. With over three-quarters of crAssphage occurring throughout the world, there could be trillions of viruses taking over your belly at this moment.

Since crAssphage is too tiny to be witnessed through a microscope, it’s difficult to ascertain as much information as researchers would like. The researchers have evidence that shows how crAssphage is infected with Bacteroides. In addition to controlling the amount of bacteria that exists in a healthy belly, crAssphage might be used as a way to fight disease in the future. crAssphage could also deliver vitamins and drugs to a person therapeutically.

In summation, research in regards to metagenome has primarily centered on bacteria. Because DNA advances faster than it’s able to detect, viruses have been overlooked. However, crAssphage has shown the important role viruses can take in the microbial community.

Foods That Fight Off an Afternoon Slump

We’ve all experienced that tired feeling after an afternoon lunch. Being unable to focus, a decline in energy levels and wishing you could curl up under your desk with a blanket for a quick nap are just a few cozy thoughts that may be running rampant through your mind. However, important deadlines and group meetings are more vital to your busy day than the slow close of your eyelids.

To placate your sagging energy and raging food cravings, you may rely on the hallway vending machine. While the sodium-laden treats and refined sugars in the snacks may give you that added burst, you’re sure to fall back into a fit of slumber within the hour.

Fortunately, you no longer have to suffer through the afternoon snooze fest. The following four foods will help you stay focused and alert, so you can conquer the remainder of your workday.

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate is often viewed as a decadent treat better left untouched. However, this aromatic and delicious indulgence can help you fight afternoon fatigue. While it does contain miniscule amounts of caffeine, phenylethylamine is the primary power source behind the feel good compounds being released to the brain. Just the smell of this intoxicating snack is enough to make you stay alert.

Green Tea

Most individuals reach for a cup of Joe as an afternoon wake-up-call. However, the nutrients in green tea can pack quite the punch. The caffeine in the tea and amino acid theanine can work to improve a person’s creativity, reaction time and ability to multi-task. The theanine’s in green tea interact specifically with the neurotransmitters in the body’s brain, so you’re feeling alert and calm, instead of jittery and nervous.

Greek Yogurt

In addition to afternoon fatigue, the body has been known to signal certain cravings. To quell the dangerous urges of doughnuts and birthday cake calling your name from the break room, you may want to try reaching for a container of Greek yogurt. The protein in the yogurt curbs the cravings by controlling your blood sugar levels. Try to aim for at least 20 to 23 grams of protein per snack.

Almonds

Nuts were shunned in the past because they were high in fat. However, this recharging snack can keep you feeling fuller longer and aid in your weight-loss. The fat, protein and fiber in this delicious treat will easily control your blood sugar levels by keeping your body focused and energized. Almonds can also reduce your risk of heart attack by as much as 50 percent.

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