As microbes have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics and antimicrobials scientists have become interested in new solutions to the growing superbug crisis, including the use of defensive microbes and faecal transplants. In new research, Oxford University scientists have developed a lab-based approach, creating positive co-dependent relationships between hosts and bacteria, quickly - termed ‘mutualisms’. These lab-developed bacterial relationships demonstrate how microbes can work with their hosts to prevent infection.
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Defensive host-microbe relationships are prevalent in nature across plants and animals, including humans. The mutual benefit comes from the host benefiting from the protection of the bacteria, and the bacteria then benefiting from the host being a healthy living environment - allowing it to accumulate further over time.
A new study using MRI has revealed structural brain changes in children with developmental language disorder (DLD), a common but under-recognised difficulty in language learning. Children with DLD aged 10-15 showed reduced levels of myelin in areas of the brain associated with speaking and listening to others, and areas involved in learning new skills. This finding is a significant advance in our understanding of DLD and these brain differences may explain the poorer language outcomes in this group.
Around 15% of people aged 40-75 may have a form of undiagnosed high blood pressure (hypertension) that occurs only at night-time. Because they do not know about this, and therefore are not being treated for it, they are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease such as stroke, heart failure, and even death, suggests new research from the University of Oxford published in the British Journal of General Practice.
Researchers in Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics have identified a rescue mechanism that allows cancers to overcome the consequences of inactivating mutations in critically important genes.