Reviews & Analysis

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  • The largest-ever study of alterations in the host’s microbiome and immune response during spaceflight shows shifts in the skin and oral microbiota during flight that are consistent across astronauts, with numerous changes in microbial gene expression that also correlate to host immune activity.

    Research Briefing
  • A real-world study of 100 diverse cases facilitated by a single centre for individualized bacteriophage therapy demonstrates feasibility and provides new hope for refractory and resistant bacterial infections.

    • Jonathan Iredell
    • Holly Sinclair
    • Ameneh Khatami
    News & Views
  • The vast stores of high-latitude peatland carbon are thought to be resistant to microbial degradation, but a multi-omics investigation suggests this might not be the case.

    • Gina Chaput
    • Maggie Sogin
    News & Views
  • Our study investigated microbial dynamics involved in the relative enrichment of oral bacteria in faeces. Results in mice and from human patients indicated that high percentages of oral bacteria reflect a depleted gut microbiota, with oral bacteria simply passing through rather than expanding in the gut, which has implications for gastrointestinal disease treatment.

    Research Briefing
  • Exoglycosidases isolated from the mucolytic gut bacteria Akkermansia muciniphila bring enzymatic conversion of A and B blood group erythrocytes to blood group O a step closer.

    • Timothy J. Satchwell
    • Natalie Di Bartolo
    • Ashley M. Toye
    News & Views
  • SARS-CoV-2 infection can be associated with ‘brain fog’ and persistent neurologic disease, especially in the elderly, with the possibility of direct viral particle interference with normal synaptic transmission.

    • Harris A. Gelbard
    • Wesley Chiang
    News & Views
  • We characterize the activity of fluorofolin, a potent inhibitor of dihydrofolate reductase, against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. By exploiting a divergence in thymidine metabolism, fluorofolin becomes selective for P. aeruginosa in the presence of thymine, demonstrating that it can be a narrow-spectrum antibiotic for this bacterial pathogen.

    Research Briefing
  • Choi, Jung and Lee highlight ways to produce renewable microbial foods that could move us closer to carbon neutrality.

    • Kyeong Rok Choi
    • Seok Yeong Jung
    • Sang Yup Lee
  • FEAR is an ancestral histone chaperone complex that can control virus infections in an interferon-independent manner.

    • Derek Walsh
    News & Views
  • Extracellular vesicles carrying phosphatidylserine on their surface, found in large quantities in semen, saliva and breast milk, but not in blood, provide an innate defence strategy by blocking viral entry through competition for binding to cellular phosphatidylserine receptors, explaining why many viruses are transmitted by blood rather than by these body fluids.

    • Leonid Margolis
    News & Views
  • A ‘reverse translation’ strategy using gnotobiotic mice ascertains cause and effect relationships between bacterial members of the gut microbiota, dietary components and host physiology, which are difficult to establish in human nutritional trials.

    • Jens Walter
    News & Views
  • Characterizing bacterial responses to mixtures of chemical pollutants reveals interactive effects among pollutants. Our study highlights the predictability and resilience of microbial responses to complex mixtures of pollutants, offering the potential for improvements in ecotoxicological assessments.

    Research Briefing
  • Two studies describe the discovery of proteins that harbour a photosynthetic reaction centre barrel domain and play pivotal roles in FtsZ-mediated cell division in archaea, with the photosynthetic reaction centre fold itself emerging as a key player in executing cytokinesis across archaea.

    • Daniela Barillà
    News & Views
  • Active hydrothermal vents are hotspots of life in the deep sea, but even after hot springs go extinct, highly productive microbial communities continue to thrive on the chemical energy in the minerals left behind.

    • Jesse McNichol
    News & Views
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa protects itself, and its neighbours, from the cephalosporin cefiderocol through production of the siderophore pyoverdine.

    • Fabiha Zaheen Khan
    • Kelli Palmer
    • Nicholas Dillon
    News & Views
  • Human norovirus infection is a major global health concern, but a suitable animal model is lacking. We have established repeated infection with human norovirus in rhesus macaques via oral challenge. Animals demonstrate virus shedding in the stool and subsequent serum antibody responses, and virus replication is detected in the small intestine.

    Research Briefing
  • Decomposer microbiomes are universal across cadavers regardless of environmental conditions, and they use complex cross-feeding and interkingdom interactions to break down organic matter.

    • Michael S. Strickland
    • Laurel Lynch
    News & Views