Preemies’ gut bacteria may depend more on gestational age than environment​

Scientists believe babies are born with digestive systems containing few or no bacteria. Their guts then quickly become colonized by microbes — good and bad — as they nurse or take bottles, receive medication and even as they are passed from one adoring relative to another.

However, in infants born prematurely, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that the population of bacteria in babies’ gastrointestinal tracts may depend more on their biological makeup and gestational age at birth than on environmental factors. The scientists discovered that bacterial communities assemble in an orderly, choreographed progression, with the pace of that assembly slowest in infants born most prematurely.

Funding: This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant numbers UH3AI083265, U54HG004968 and P30DK052574 (Biobank Core); the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of the NIH; the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, of the NIH, and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.

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Nanoparticles carrying a toxin found in bee venom can destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while leaving surrounding cells unharmed, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown. The finding is an important step toward developing a vaginal gel that may prevent the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.


Image: Nanoparticles (purple) carrying melittin (green) fuse with HIV (small circles with spiked outer ring), destroying the virus’s protective envelope. Molecular bumpers (small red ovals) prevent the nanoparticles from harming the body’s normal cells, which are much larger in size. (Credit: Joshua L. Hood, MD, PhD)

Invention of New Cancer-Seeing Glasses

The defining moment of Sam Achilefu’s career was playing out in a surgery room at Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s Siteman Cancer Center on Feb. 10. It was the day he was unveiling the special goggles he developed to detect cancer, but the release was not what he had planned.

Achilefu spent the past five years dedicated to the project, and its success (or failure) was about to be viewed by a surgical room packed full of journalists.

Could he create glasses similar to the military’s night vision goggles but for surgeons?

Read more about Dr. Achilefu’s invention

Funding: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) invested $2.8 million in Achilefu’s technology.

Many depressed preschoolers still suffer in later school years

Children diagnosed with depression as preschoolers are likely to suffer from depression as school-age children and young adolescents, new research shows.

Depressed preschoolers were 2.5 times more likely to suffer from the condition in elementary and middle school than kids who were not depressed at very young ages, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

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Watch on wustlnews.tumblr.com

This. is. insane.

19-year-old WUSTL student Kevin Hays kills it with a 6x6 Rubik’s cube. World record at a minute forty.

Nanoparticles loaded with bee venom kill HIV

Nanoparticles carrying a toxin found in bee venom can destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while leaving surrounding cells unharmed, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown. The finding is an important step toward developing a vaginal gel that may prevent the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Nanoparticles (purple) carrying melittin (green) fuse with HIV (small circles with spiked outer ring), destroying the virus’s protective envelope. Molecular bumpers (small red ovals) prevent the nanoparticles from harming the body’s normal cells, which are much larger in size. 

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Photo credits: (1) Discovery News, (2) Joshua Hood, MD, PhD

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