Monday, 3 December 2018

Microbiota - ways of delivery and later life effects

The way you are born determines how your microbiota develops. A child who is born naturally will have a different microbiota than a child who is born via c-section. A c-section child will have less diverse microbiota, so their guts will contain fewer different microbes. These differences in microbiota related to the mode of birth are present only early in life, but they have potential risks later in life: allergies, asthma, type 1 diabetes and obesity.

Why, would you ask? One hypothesis is that different microbes colonizing the babies' gut have different effects on the immune system development. The window of opportunity to train and develop your immune system health may be different for natural born and c-section born children. Another hypothesis is that mom's gut microbes are already selected and deemed safe, being also beneficial for food digestion, decreasing the risk of exposure to pathogens and increasing the chance of beneficial food degradation in the child's intestine.

The mode of delivery determines which microbes will colonize the gut right after birth, but has no effects of the microbiota existing later in life. All the correlation between mode of delivery and overall health as an adult might be possible because of the differences in the microbiota composition from the newborn's gut.

Next post will be about gestational age of microbiota.

See you soon!

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Microbiota age

Different developmental stages of the microbiota can be distinguished. The different developmental stages define the age of microbiota of a human being. Every increase or decrease in the microbiota age compared with the actual chronological age of a child can indicate various outcomes.

After the first microbes colonize the human body, the microbiota start to develop, over the next few years, depending on environmental factors, like food intake. First change will happen during weaning, which starts a non random process of maturation, induced by the change of the nutrient consumption. During the first phase of milk consumption we have Bifidobacteria as a dominant member of microbiome. Upon weaning, members of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes become dominant. Microbiota reaches adult  stage in 3-6 years, being fully maturated after puberty. Main markers of bacterial adulthood are already present at toddlers. The microbiota of formula fed babies is more mature compared to a breastfed child. The maturation of microbiota also happen faster at c-section born babies.

Maturation of the microbiota is directed by nutrition. Malnutrition in early stages of life can result in irreversible stunted growth and impaired cognitive ability. The microbiota of malnourished children does not mature fully. But a food intervention rescuing children from malnutrition will immediately mature the microbiota. The potential relationship between infant malnutrition and gut microbiota might contribute to food and microbial based therapies for malnourished people. Microbiota -modulation strategies could help restore infant growth and developmental problems. Increase or decrease of microbiota age in comparison with chronological age of the child can be used to find different health outcomes. Immature microbiota is associated with malnutrition, while faster maturation is associated with formula feeding and c-section birth. Because of all these reasons, microbiota-modulation can be the next-step strategy supporting personalized nutrition and microbiota based strategies.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Nootropics and other brainy stuff

Sooon, as soon as i got some free time, i will write about nootropics and brain boosters and enhancers. 

See you!

Saturday, 24 November 2018


I am everybody and every time,
I always call myself by your name.

- Pablo Neruda -

Monday, 19 November 2018 ICO full review

The idea behind ATOMZ project, as it is underlined in the Whitepaper, is: How can one invest easily in cryptocurrencies? What if there is a software or device to signal us the best coin to buy or sell at the present moment? There are 1600+ coins to choose, but only the less known ones tend to accumulate wealth quickly, even if they are hard to track. Today is much easier to buy bitcoin, but some altcoins are still hard to buy. We all know that is good to buy low and sell high, but with the new crypto you never know if a project will fail completely after you buy low or will rise and rise long after you sell at what you were thinking is an all time high. Storage is another problem to solve, and these days if an exchange is hacked, chances to get your crypto back are quite low (see Mt. Gox case, one of the first hacked exchanges who did not pay back yet). Automated trading is another issue at hand, and it is hard to do it, as the good trading bots are quite expensive, not very transparent, not on the cloud (private servers instead) and not very customizable.
The Atomz project aims to make investing easy while generating profit. The proprietary software will analyze trends, rate the cryptocurrencies and determine the best to buy or to sell at any given moment. Help will be available for the beginners. You need to understand that the more blockchain technologies will be available and reach customers safely, the more acceptance they will gain and more value will be created.
The token symbol is ATZ, and the time of the token generation event is not yet known. There will be three phases, first for private investors, 2 millions ATZ at the price of 0.40 USD, second phase for pre-ICO, 3 millions ATZ at the price of 0.60 USD and the last phase, the ICO, with 10 millions ATZ, at the price of 0.8–1 USD. The accepted cryptocurrencies for payment are BTC, ETH, LTC, ETC, BCH and DASH.
The allocation for the tokens will be done like this:
  • 20% team (5 millions ATZ)
  • 40% ICO (10 millions ATZ)
  • 14% pre-ICO (3.4 millions ATZ)
  • 14% investors (3.5 millions ATZ)
  • 12% marketing and other services (3 millions ATZ)
All unsold tokens will be locked for one year and sold later.
Funds distribution will be done like this:
  • 50% research and development
  • 25% operations and admin
  • 15% marketing
  • 5% legal expenses
  • 5% charities.
Let’s take a look at their Roadmap. They started in November 2017 making the journey from idea to first software development, after the team was made. The first functional base software for advice tier and the token sale preparation began in April 2018. In August 2018 they started to recruit private investors and partners to help with the ICO and product development. In November 2018 the pre-ICO sale was organized, to bring additional funds for the project and gain a functional user base. Next steps to follow are:
  • 12.2018 -launch of the ICO public sale and the growth of the Atomz platform;
  • 2.2019 -end of the Atomz ICO, software improvements and team new members if needed, marketing and exchange listing;
  • 6.2019 -closed beta launch, feedback and software improvements;
  • 7.2019 -growth of the platform and new partnerships;
  • 9.2019 -open-beta platform testing and optimizing (community voting, decentralized login/token login, limited user base).
The final product will have 3 tiers (cryptocurrency advice, cryptocurrency mutual funds like, cryptocurrency trading bot). Regarding the cryptocurrency advice, they want to be able to determine the best crypto to buy and sell at any given moment. The cryptocurrency packs, similar with mutual funds, with price being determined automatically. There will be different types of packs: top packs, techno packs, market cap packs. The trading bot is utilizing Atomz index, choosing custom strategies, blacklisting cryptocurrencies if needed, making investing easy and safe.
They claim to use different trends like RSI (relative strength index -to detect if the market is oversold or overbought), MACD (moving average convergence divergence -to detect trends), Bollinger bands to add reliability to RSI and MACD, market cap proportions. There are risks associated with this, the market crash being the biggest risk, adjusted by news investigation, done manually and by AI. Another risk is related to the data gathering -right now it takes 15 minutes to analyze top 100 cryptocurrencies, in the future can go up to 2 hours.
The access to the Tiers can be achieved by paying ETH equivalent of the fee in ATZ. Tier 1 is 0.16 ETH (80 ATZ), Tier 2 is 0.32 (160 ATZ) and the Tier 3 is 0.64 ETH (320 ATZ). Mutual packs and the trading bot can be bought using only ATZ tokens.
To find more about them, you can check the links to Atomz social media:
(Disclaimer: This article was created in exchange for a potential token reward through BountyOx. BountyOx username: Heruvim78)

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Early life microbiome development

Did you ever ask yourself how the microbes enter in your body? Your mom donated many of her beneficial microbes during birth, and she fostered the growth of you and your microbes with her milk, providing nutrients for both you and your microbiota. If you are born by cesarean section your microbiota will develop differently, and this can be linked to later life diseases like allergies and obesity. As an infant, your microbiota was very different, and growing up, it grew up with you. First time receiving solid food was a life changing event for both you and your microbiome.

Each individual has various habitats of microbial communities. The human body is continuously sampling the pool of available environmental microbes. A selection take place for specific microbes that will find their optimal niche in our different body organs. The microbial colonization of humans was thought to begin at birth, but there is evidence of bacterial presence in the placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic fluid of healthy full term pregnancies. This means that microbial exposure started before delivery, allowing the fetus to adapt to microbiota and stimulating the perinatal immune system. Upon and right after the birth a massive amount of microbes enters in contact with the newborn. The colonization of the body by the microbes is influenced by the mode of delivery, type of feeding and/or antibiotic usage. Mothers diet, age and metabolic status, combined with the family genetics and lifestyle are also affecting the infant microbiota development. The colonization it happens vertical (during birth, with microbes from mother lower intestinal tract and vagina) and horizontal (after birth, close contact with siblings, pets, dietary habits). Once the microbes enter in the human body, the conditions of the different body parts are determining which microbes will remain for colonization. The microbiota composition of the stomach, duodenum, ileum and colon are quite different. Acidity, transfer time and nutrients absorption are few of the important factors to select which microbes will adapt to each condition. For example, in the ileum we have a fast transit time (2-6 hours), a thin layer of mucus and the host is continuously absorbing proteins and sugars, so this conditions are sub-optimal for most of the microorganisms.  In the colon is a complete other situation, with a transit time of 24-48 hours, thick mucus layer and many non digested fibers are available to microbes to ferment. This is the reason why the colon is the most densely microbial populated part of human body (10-12th bacteria per gram of feces, about 1 kg of mass in total).

Right after birth, the gastro-intestinal tract is getting colonized first with facultative anaerobic bacteria, which will reduce the oxygen level in the intestine, making it easy for the anaerobic bacteria to survive. This step it will take 1-2 days to complete. The early life microbiota is dynamic, unstable and a significant variation exists between babies. But this is a non-random process, the body selecting the microbes that have adapted to the conditions of the different organs. The exposure to microbes is mainly determined by the more od delivery, type of feeding and antibiotic usage.

Next post will be about the importance of human milk.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Microbiome research and causality

Clinicians and biologists try to find correlations between the gut microbioma and health outcomes. Very often no causal link is found. If one is ill for long time, chances are that medications were used regularly, and if one is obese, chances are that he/she ate unhealthy for long time. These factors will influence the onset of the disease and the gut microbioma composition. Even more, other factors like country of origin and the genetic background will also play a role in the gut microbiome composition and in the chance of developing certain diseases. The main challenge is to find out the right changes in the gut microbiome that actually play a role in the disease. Is then the fact that, in a dataset of thousand of bacteria, some of them show a correlation with the disease real or based on sheer coincidence?

A good example of causal relationship between the gut microbiota composition and the development of a disease is fecal macrobiota transplantation. This strategy was applied for patients with Clostridium difficile infections and the results were good, as this microorganism is able to thrive in people with disturbances in their gut microbioma, but a fecal transplant of a healthy gut microbiome composition will restore the balance and get rid of C.difficile bacteria. Another interesting development in the study of the healthy microbiome shows that the bacterium Akkermansia Muciniphila is abundant in healthy people but often absent or low in human or mice  with obesity. If you feed them with A. muciniphila, a relation between the bacteria and the metabolic health of the host is noted, and a positive effect on health balance and metabolic rate. An ongoing clinical trial with pre-diabetic patients is done right now in order to confirm those positive effects.

Other option to study causal relations between gut microbiome and health can happen in laboratory, using germ free mice, and exposing them to specific bacteria to test the effect on metabolism, digestion or immune system. But we cannot have a decisive answer using these methods, and a clinical trial using an appropriate group of patients is always needed, hopefully resulting in personalized treatments against diseases, taking into account the differences in our microbiome.

Microbiota is defined as everything staying in our gut, small enough to not be seen with naked eye (bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses) and their habitat. Microbes form our gut play a role in all kind of systems to good liver access, good brain access, good skin access. The microbiota is personalized, everybody has a different microbiome. Monozygotic twins are more similar than average unrelated individuals in terms of microbiome, and this can be because genetics or same time colonization. The microbiome develops through life, so some of our actions will impact later in life (as repeated use of antibiotics for example). We have an enormous number of associations between our microbes and our cells activities, but no casualty (the famous example with recurrent C. difficile patient in intensive care and almost dying being rescued by fecal microbiota transportation in a systematic way, much better than antibiotics).

We got MetaHit project, with over 3 millions genes discovered in the guts of a couple of people, aiming to understand what is it there in our microbiota, but also what is their function, how they are expressed, how they are collaborating and constituting this ecosystem that makes us healthy. There is a symbiosis relationship (Venom is a great movie about symbiosis, by the way) and we feed the microbes that we want to have in our gut. As important hallmark of our discoveries in the last couple of decades, Akkermansia Muciniphila (the gatekeeper of mucus) reinforces our gut barrier and prevents substances like LPS to come into our bloodstream.

In the next posts i will talk about the early life microbiota development.
Have a nice day!