Is gut flora the new frontier of human health? A growing body of evidence suggests that the diverse species of bacteria which colonise the surface of our colon are engaged in an elegant and delicate dance with other physiological systems in the body and that their quality and quantity (or lack thereof) can have a profound impact on everything from inflammation, metabolism, autoimmunity, allergies, asthma obesity and even, on psychological issues such as anxiety and depression.
A plethora of conditions, from obesity to anxiety, appear to be linked to the microbes inside us. Nicola Davis explains why the microbiome is such a hot topic of research.
A treatment for superbugs may be closer following promising trials at University College Cork (UCC). Over the past three weeks, 17 patients in Irish hospitals have been infected by CPE, a supposedly “untreatable” bug that is potentially fatal. Scientists at UCC have successfully eradicated similar infections in samples from patients who have died or had limbs amputated due to drug-resistant superbugs. They used viruses known as bacteriophages, which infect and destroy bacteria.
Irish Central Staff
A new book “The Psychobiotic Revolution” reveals that our brain health and state of mind are intimately connected to our gut bacteria (microbiome)
The discoveries could help change the way we treat conditions such as depression and anxiety.
The European launch of the book will take place on February 6 at University College Cork.
Hospitals in Ireland are starting to use bacteria and viruses found in the gut to tackle what scientists describe as the “coming plague of antimicrobial resistance.” Principal investigator at APC Microbiome Ireland in University College Cork, Colin Hill, said faecal transplants are being used to cure very difficult to treat hospital-acquired infections.
Also, patients are increasingly taking probiotics following a course of antibiotics to prevent subsequent infection.
It was really food for thought: Budding scientists discovered that their belly controls their brain and if it gets ‘good stuff’ they can concentrate more. Students at Scoil Naomh Fionán, Belgooly, Co Cork, proudly showcased their science project — Belly-Brain Talk: Which Food is Best, at the RDS Primary Science Fair in Dublin.
Research suggests the vast ecosystem of organisms that lives in our digestive systems might be as complex and influential as our genes in everything from mental health to athleticism and obesity. but is ‘poop doping’ really the way ahead?
Studies in animals are helping reveal how the microbes that live in our guts can affect our emotions. According to research reported August 25, 2017, in the journal Microbiome, dozens of gene-regulating molecules called microRNAs in the brain are under the microbes’ influence. Wiping out these microbial communities disrupts microRNA levels in brain regions involved in fear processing, which in turn may alter the development of neural circuits or change neuronal function.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good old bodily fluid exchange? Well, you might think twice about it if you were told that the bodily fluid in question would be faeces. Then again, faecal transplants have proven incredibly effective in the treatment of disease – and the field is booming to the point that there might be a time when you won’t bat an eyelid if offered someone else’s poop
Irish Examiner 21 August 2017
Innovative research into irritable bowel syndrome, a condition which causes agonising pain to thousands of sufferers, will be presented at a prestigious international conference in Cork this week. The NeuroGastro 2017 conference brings together leading experts in the field from around the world. It is the first time Ireland has hosted the event.
The Irish Times 1 February 2017
Teagasc’s Dr Paul Cotter will appear on ‘Trust Me, I’m a Doctor’ on Wednesday night.
Silicon Republic 1 February 2017
Two of Ireland’s “foremost contributors to the world of learning” have been awarded the 2016 Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals in recognition of their careers.
The Irish Times 31 January 2017
Research professors from Trinity and UCC awarded gold medals for achievements
The Irish Times 31 January 2017
Is Irish butter and milk going to storm the supermarkets of the world and confound the standard nutritional advice that butter and dairy aren’t good for us?
Irish Examiner 24 January
Cork scientists have uncovered a dietary mechanism to reverse the effects of stress.
There is growing evidence that microbes in the gut can play a vital role in regulating brain functions, particularly emotional processing and behaviour.
The Irish Times 24 January 2017
Scientists in Cork have come up with a way to counter stress just by eating the right foods. The stress-beating menu has shown it works well in mice and efforts are under way to get human tests going.
The Irish Examiner 18 January 2017
Cork scientists have found that breastfeeding is very important for premature babies born by caesarian section.
It is particularly important for babies born by C-section before 35 weeks as it helps to develop a “more normal” gut microbiota.
Irish Examiner 13 December 2016
A study conducted by teams of scientists in Cork as proven that milk and butter from pasture-fed cattle are superior in nutritional properties, appearance, flavour and colour.
RTE News 12 December 2016
Ireland has good reason to market its dairy produce as having better colour, flavour, nutritional value and appearance than products from other countries, new research findings suggest. The research carried out by scientists at Teagasc and the University College Cork based APC Microbiome Institute, found milk and dairy produce from grass and clover-fed cows has significantly greater concentrations of fat, protein and casein.
Irish Examiner 28th November
The stress of looking after a loved one with dementia can negatively impact on both the memory and concentration of the carer, new research shows.
However, it has emerged stress-reduction techniques like mindfulness and meditation can lead to an improvement in both the memory and attention span of dementia care-givers.
The Irish Times 17th December 2015
In households around the country the countdown is on to the big dinner. but what about those uninvited guests? …………….
The impact of a sudden swell of massive dinners, chocolates, mince pies, Christmas pudding and alcoholic drinks can go beyond bacteria……….
The Irish Times 7th December 2015
Ireland’s got talent in scientific research, but we need to keep investing it to attract even more. That’s according to Dr Jim Sullivan of global biopharmaceutical company AbbVie, which is embarking on two new collaborations with Irish research groups.
The collaborations with Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute in Dublin and the APC Microbiome Institute in Cork will see AbbVie work with researchers on disease markers and potential new drug targets for conditions such as Crohn’s disease and psoriasis.
Silicon Republic 23 November 2015
Science Foundation Ireland has joined up with biopharmaceutical giant AbbVie for a €10m collaborative project to investigate targets for new drugs…..In the larger of the two parts of this partnership, AbbVie will collaborate with researchers at the APC Microbiome Institute in UCC in a bid to identify new treatments for patients with Crohn’s disease.
The Irish Times 12th November 2015
The messy business of how our digestive system works is revealed in a Science Week show by the London Science Museum…….the Cork Science Festival will have a giant blow-up model that explains the system from the inside, organised by the APC Microbiome Institute at University College Cork.
The Journal.ie 9th November 2015
Science Week 2015
It might be hard to believe, but there is new scientific evidence to show that your gut (and more importantly the bacteria in there) can affect your brain…..
The Irish Independent 19 October 2015
Good bacteria can be beneficial for your gut – now researchers have discovered they can reduce stress as well.
The Irish Times 19 October 2015
Scientists in Cork have discovered a live bacteria probiotic that can reduce stress and improve mental function and memory in humans.
The probiotic has potential use as a way to reduce mild forms of anxiety and stress, say the researchers, based at the APC Microbiome Institute at University College Cork.
The Guardian 18 October 2015
People who took capsules containing Bifidobacterium longum 1714 reported less stress and fared better on memory tests, study finds
The Irish Times 13 October 2015
Going back to basics to learn about how the brain works could help guide better treatments for diseases.
Every second of the day, your brain is fizzing with activity. Your neurons send signals to each other across a tiny gap between them, in turn spreading electrical messages across vast networks to make your brain do what it does.
Irish Independent 12 October 2015
Eating a lot of fibre-rich foods such as fruit, vegetables and legumes – typical of a Mediterranean diet – is linked to a rise in health-promoting short chain fatty acids, according to Irish research.
Irish Independent 16 December 2014
So says Professor Ted Dinan of UCC, who has been researching the relationship between bacteria and mood…..
The Irish Independent 11 November 2014
The growing use of ‘last resort’ antibiotics in Irish hospitals could result in the drugs becoming less effective against serious infection, leading to more illness and death, a new report has warned……It comes as members of the public are invited to a free lecture on the antibiotic crisis in UCC tomorrow night where experts will reveal how resistance threatens to make routine operations impossible…
The Irish Times 7 October 2014
Scientists in Cork have discovered a way to show whether you are the kind of person who can deal with stress or are vulnerable to its negative effects, a finding that could lead to new drugs for the treatment of depression….
The Irish Examiner 7 October 2014
Dubbed the health epidemic of the 21st century, scientists are looking to the human brain to combat the negativeeffects of stress…
The Atlantic 23 September 2014
Our gut bacteria play a role in our moods and emotions and switching up the microbiome has been shown to help mice be less anxious. Do probiotics hold the key to a better antidepressant?….
The New York Times 14 August 2014
Your body is home to about 100 trillion bacteria and other microbes, collectively known as your microbiome. Naturalists first became aware of our invisible lodgers in the 1600s but it wasn’t until the past few years that we’ve become really familiar with them….
The Irisah Examiner 23 July 2014 2014
Computer games to promote healthy tummies might seem ironic, but two new apps aim to help kids of all ages better appreciate the benefits of keeping the guts in good working order…
The New York Times 18 June 2014
Being physically active may encourage beneficial germs to thrive in your gut, while inactivity could do the reverse, according to an innovative new study. The findings suggest that, in addition to its other health benefits, frequent exercise may influence our weight and overall health by altering the kinds of organisms that live inside of us. ….
The Irish Examiner 10 June 2014
We all know that Irish rugby players are an incredibly gutsy bunch but few would have thought it possible to scientifically prove it…
The Irish Times 10 June 2014
It takes some guts to play rugby, and a new study from Cork has shown that the guts of professional rugby players are home to a wide variety of bacteria. The research which involved 40 rugby players on the Irish squad, suggests links between diet and exercise and the diversity of microbes in the gut….
The Irish Examiner, 1 January 2013 EVELYN RING
Giving infan ts antibiotics that also kill many evolving healthy gut bacteria could be putting them at risk of developing asthma, obesity and allergies later on, a groundbreaking Irish study suggests.
The Sunday Business Post, 2 December 2012
Changing regulatory environments can create business opportunities for canny start-ups, of which Atlantia is a classic example.
Evening Echo, Monday 12 December 2011
A team from Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh, Bishopstown, Cork are the winners in the senior category of this year’s Science Raps competition. James Carr composed and performed the vocals for “The Chemistry of Life” rap and the video was produced and edited by Eoghan Calnan. Additional support was provided by their “actor” classmates Luke Delaney, James Meeke, David O’Neill and John Spillane.