Posted 25th November 2016 by Jane Williams
Artificial digestive systems are increasingly used as a relevant alternative to in vivo studies for ethical, technical, regulatory and cost reasons. For more than 20 years, CIDAM, from the University of Auvergne in France, has been developing platforms such as the artificial digestion associating dissolution apparatus, mastication simulator, gastric and small intestinal models, large intestinal systems and intestinal cells in culture.
Posted 18th November 2016 by Jane Williams
‘Microbiome’ has become somewhat of a buzzword within science. There have always been ‘live and active cultures’ in your yogurt, then they were in your dog food and recently doctors started to prescribe probiotics to improve human health and cure some diseases. Now they are helping plants.
Posted 14th November 2016 by Jane Williams
The vast amount of research into the human microbiome is attracting new companies to the field and the race to translate scientific data into viable products has begun. Financial interest in the microbiome is at an all-time high, giving many scientists the opportunity to start their own business as product development or service companies.
Posted 4th November 2016 by Jane Williams
The human gut is home to trillions of microorganisms (gut microbiota) that make up a complex ecological community with many more bacterial cells than the total number of human cells. Most of the bacteria in the gut are harmless or beneficial and protect against pathogens, extract nutrients and energy from our diet, and contribute to immune regulatory functions. 
Posted 2nd November 2016 by Jane Williams
Crop yield gains over the last century largely resulted from advancements in biotechnology, coupled with extensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. But what if we could increase crop yields while reducing our dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides?
Posted 24th October 2016 by Jane Williams
Obesity affects 600 million people globally, but the range of available treatments is limited. Recent findings that demonstrate a relationship between the gut microbiome and obesity have brought new hope that bacteria-based therapeutics might offer novel treatments.
Posted 5th October 2016 by Jane Williams
Whilst completing my industrial PhD in Biotechnology, I focused on the characterisation of microbial communities of dairy products, using Next Generation Sequencing approaches in order to evaluate the quality of cheeses. The shift towards studying the human gut microbiome was quite easy. Unfortunately, at the beginning we found that we couldn’t evaluate the “quality” of the gut flora as it was a relatively under-explored field.
Posted 30th September 2016 by Jane Williams
Although yoghurt by itself is a nutritious food which contains calcium for bone health, many yoghurts on the market advertise themselves as “probiotic” yoghurts, and are sometimes up to 3-4 times as expensive as non-probiotic yoghurts. Is it really worth the extra expense and how do you choose which one to buy?