Posted 17th March 2017 by Jane Williams
Edible fungi or mushrooms are widely used as healthy food and nutraceutical products due to their high nutritive and medicinal value. The world production and consumption of edible and medicinal mushrooms has experienced a steady increase over the last few decades (>25-fold increase in 35 years from 1978 – 2012) and is projected to grow at 9.5% annually from 2014 to 2019, tripling the world GDP growth from 2013 – 2018 (2.5 – 3.0%).
Posted 3rd March 2017 by Jane Williams
The skin acts as an interface between the body and the external environment, protecting us from infections or toxins. It is also home to various microbial communities. The balance of commensal bacteria is indicative of healthy skin, with dysbiosis having been linked to various skin diseases, such as psoriasis. A high relative abundance of Actinobacteria has been detected in healthy human skin but inflammatory lesions from psoriasis patients are characterised by an over-representation of Proteobacteria and an under-representation of Actinobacteria.
Posted 8th February 2017 by Jane Williams
Dysbiotic characteristics are increasingly attributed to a range of serious, and sometimes fatal, digestive disorders affecting humans. These include inflammatory bowel diseases, chemotherapy-induced mucositis, radiation enteritis, NSAID-enteropathy and colon cancer.
Posted 3rd February 2017 by Jane Williams
The structure and function of the human gut microbiome is being revealed through culture-independent molecular techniques. Many studies have found a great deal of interpersonal variability due to factors such as diet, age and ethnicity. However, there are a small number of relatively abundant microbial species that appear to be widespread in the human population.
Posted 25th January 2017 by Jane Williams
Collaboration between academia and industry
It has been demonstrated many times in the past that academia and industry, working in tandem, can achieve results to their mutual benefit much faster than when they work in isolation. However, one critical challenge for academic researchers is finding the right partner to commercialise their technology.
Posted 18th January 2017 by Jane Williams
Chronic illnesses such as IBD, obesity and diabetes were once considered ‘western’ diseases. However, changes to diet and lifestyle are steadily taking their toll and prevalence rates are rising across the globe. (1)
Posted 11th January 2017 by Jane Williams
Life started with unicellular microorganisms
They weren’t complex but they reproduced fast – adapting to the catastrophic events (underwater volcanic activity, change in temperature and chemical composition) of their environment in the oceans of the primordial Earth.
Posted 6th January 2017 by Jane Williams
Over the past decade, the intestinal microbiota has increasingly been recognised as a critical factor in health and disease. My research focuses on the role of the gut microbiome in metabolic diseases and my main aim is to prove causality. Most studies describe the gut microbiota from patients and compare it to healthy controls.