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33 news posts in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology

Featured news

30 Mar 2023

Babies’ gut microbiome not influenced by mothers’ vaginal microbiome composition

By Deborah Pirchner, Frontiers science writer Image: Alterations in babies’ gut microbiomes during early life are commonly associated with negative health outcomes later on, including asthma and obesity. Gut microbiome alterations are frequently attributed to how a baby is delivered (birth mode). This gave ground to practices like vaginal seeding, aiming to expose babies born via C-section to their mother’s vaginal microbiome. Canadian researchers have examined this supposed interplay between infant microbiome composition and birth mode and found that mothers’ vaginal microbiome composition does not affect microbiome development of babies. It has been a longstanding assumption that birth mode and associated exposure of newborns to their mothers’ vaginal microbiome during delivery greatly affects the development of babies’ gut microbiome. To test the scientific validity of this assumption, a team of Canadian researchers has now published a study in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology in which they examined the effect of maternal vaginal microbiome composition on the development of infants’ stool microbiome at 10 days and three months after birth. “We show that the composition of the maternal vaginal microbiome does not substantially influence the infant stool microbiome in early life,” said Dr Deborah Money, a professor of obstetrics […]


16 Feb 2023

From microplastic waste to large, ancient squirrels: Five Frontiers articles you won’t want to miss

By Deborah Pirchner, Frontiers science writer Image: At Frontiers, we bring some of the world’s best research to a global audience. But with tens of thousands of articles published each year, it’s impossible to cover all of them. Here are just five amazing papers you may have missed. UK seafloor sediments rich in microplastics For years, plastics have made up a large portion of the debris polluting the marine environment. Much of this plastic consists of particles under 5mm in any dimension. Writing in Frontiers in Marine Science, an international team of researchers from the UK and Norway examined the occurrence and abundance of microplastics in UK seafloor sediments between 2013 and 2021. The scientists used a fast-screening approach for the detection and quantification of microplastics in sediment samples. They detected microplastics in every sample collected from 15 sites around the UK, which supports the argument that seafloor sediments are suitable matrices for the long-term monitoring of microlitter. The adoption of seafloor sediments as a common indicator for microlitter for the north-east-Atlantic region would allow for future assessments at a regional level as well as regional action plans rather than isolated national remediation measures, the researchers pointed out. The […]

Featured news

12 Jan 2023

Simple blood test shows promise for screening common and dangerous pregnancy complications

By Angharad Brewer Gillham, Frontiers science writer Image/ Scientists find that short-chain fatty acids in blood can be used as biomarkers in testing for dangerous pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. Scientists at Ningbo University, China have identified biomarkers that could provide an early warning system for three common and dangerous pregnancy complications: pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and a liver condition called intrahepatic cholestasis. All three conditions are dangerous; early diagnosis and treatment is key to preventing poor outcomes and lifelong consequences. Their causes are not fully understood, and nor is their connection to the gut microbiome, which is affected by pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions. A team led by Dr Siqian Chen at the Affiliated Hospital of Medical School decided to investigate whether specific changes in the microbiome — detected using levels of short-chain fatty acids, metabolites which are produced following the fermentation of microbiota — could be used as biomarkers for pregnancy complications. “We analyzed and correlated the distribution of short-chain fatty acids during normal pregnancy and during three specific types of complicated pregnancy, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and intrahepatic cholestasis,” said Dr Rongrong Xuan, senior author of the study, published today in Frontiers in […]


12 Sep 2022

Scientists eavesdrop on minke whale ‘boing’ calls in Hawai’i, and 4 other articles you don’t want to miss

By Angharad Brewer Gillham, Frontiers science writer Image: Annie Leblanc/ At Frontiers, we bring some of the world’s best research to a global audience. But with tens of thousands of articles published each year, many often fly under the radar. Here are just five amazing papers you may have missed. Scientists eavesdrop on minke whale conversations in Hawai’i Scientists writing in Frontiers in Marine Science used hydrophones to study hard-to-spot minke whales in Hawai’i, learning that they use their ‘boing’ calls more frequently when they are close to other members of the same species. Minke whales who visit this area are hard to study because they are small, solitary, and visit outside the times when most ship-based surveys are conducted. Passive acoustic monitoring, using hydrophones mounted on the sea bed, allows scientists to listen in on whales all year round. The authors used 47 hydrophones to record thousands of calls between 2012 and 2017. These calls were analyzed to detect individual whales and monitor their behavior in the study area. The minke whales used their ‘boing’ calls only between fall and spring, and called more rapidly when other minke whales were nearby. Because minke whales are so enigmatic, it isn’t […]

Featured news

25 Apr 2022

World Malaria Day: Meet a researcher using genetic engineering to tackle a serious global disease

By Colm Gorey/Prof Tania de Koning-Ward, Deakin University Prof Tania de Koning-Ward, Deakin University. Image: Deakin University World Malaria Day – held on the 25 April –  is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control. To mark this important awareness day, Frontiers caught up with Prof Tania de Koning-Ward to hear how she is contributing to a global effort to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Tania de Koning-Ward is a professor in molecular microbiology based at Deakin University’s School of Medicine in Australia and is a senior research fellow of the country’s National Health and Medical Research Council. Here she heads the school’s malaria pathogenesis research group which aims to investigate molecular level, key parasite-host interactions that enable malaria parasites to thrive and survive in their host and cause disease. She has published extensively on the subject, including in an article published to Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology in September 2020. What inspired you to become a researcher? Do you have any specific memories that set off a spark? Growing up, I always enjoyed biology and maths but realized pretty quickly at university that it […]

Earth science

08 Feb 2022

5 fascinating Frontiers articles you may have missed in January 2022

By Colm Gorey, Science Communications Manager A newly born desert tortoise. Image: K. Kristina Drake/ USGS. At Frontiers, we bring some of the world’s best research to a worldwide audience. But with tens of thousands of articles published each year, many often fly under the radar. Now, as part of new series each month, Frontiers will highlight just some of those amazing papers you may have missed.    1: Too hot to nest? In a hot summer, one tortoise can switch from nesting to developing eggs internally Researchers from Australia and South Africa published an article in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution identifying what may be a novel reproductive strategy in Chersina angulate tortoises that has the potential to enhance the resilience of species to global warming. After observing a captive colony of in Cape Town, South Africa and checking back through historical data, Gerald Kuchling of The University of Western Australia and Margaretha Hofmeyr of the University of Western Cape found that local ambient temperature altered how females deposited their last clutch of eggs. Periods of unusual heat may result in females switching from depositing their eggs in a nest to develop(oviposition), to growing the egg in their body […]