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How bacteria are changing your mood - BBC News
Scientists think "mood microbes" are a new frontier for improving the health of the brain.
bbc  radio  medicine  health  neuroscience  psychology  perception  biology  botany  mycology  genetics  immunology  predatory  bacteria  viruses  fungi  pathology  pathogens  toxicology 
6 hours ago by asaltydog
Ophiocordyceps unilateralis - Wikipedia
Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is an insect-pathogenising fungus, discovered by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in 1859, and currently found…
medicine  health  neuroscience  biology  botany  mycology  genetics  immunology  bacteria  viruses  fungi  pathology  pathogens 
6 hours ago by asaltydog
Toxoplasma gondii - Wikipedia
This article is about the parasite. For the disease it causes, see Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma gondii ( / ˈ t ɒ k s oʊ p l æ z m ə ˈ ɡ ɒ n d i aɪ / ) is an…
medicine  health  neuroscience  biology  botany  mycology  genetics  immunology  bacteria  viruses  fungi  pathology  pathogens  toxicology 
6 hours ago by asaltydog
How to Get the Best From Your Immune System - Smarter Living Guides
2019 | The New York Times | By Matt Richtel.

**“An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System.”"

The immune system is much less about exercising power than it is about finding balance. You can help train and maintain it. Here’s how:
(A) What Is the Immune System?
Our great defense system helps ward off the most dangerous of invaders......It is a common misconception that the immune system goes to war with every foreign organism. That would lead to scorched earth, nuclear winter. Instead, the job of the immune system is to take stock, monitor, assess and judge potential threats...if an invader is deemed a threat, the immune system has a narrow job: destroy the threat while doing as little collateral damage as possible. This response from the immune system is called “inflammation.” .....inflammation can feel like a stuffy nose, sore throat, tummy ache, fever, fatigue or headache. Yes, the symptoms of an immune response feel lousy, but you must suffer a little to keep the rest of your body healthy over the long term. And for your health and daily well-being, the key is to keep your immune system from underperforming or getting out of hand.
(B) IT’S ABOUT BALANCE
The immune system, often seen as a ruthless defender, seeks a steady state, not a police state.....a fiercely delicate combination of a bouncer and a ballet dancer. In fact, many molecules in this complex system are designed to send a signal that it should withdraw, pause an attack and stand down. Without these molecules, the state of inflammation that helps destroy threats would lay your body to waste..... Instead of boosting your immune system, you should be supporting it. And you should try to never undermine its delicate structures.
(C) The Immune System and the Beast
Let's take a moment to understand how (and why) our immune system acts in the face of a threat.....Our immune system took shape roughly 480 million years ago. All jawed vertebrates going back to the shark share its key properties. One property is priority setting.....an acute threat, e.g. a lion attack, the body’s network focuses wholly on that threat....the body goes into an emergency state known colloquially as “fight or flight.” During these periods, the body fires off powerful chemicals, including:

Epinephrine, which creates a kind of high for the body to subvert fatigue.
Norepinephrine, which also helps to subvert fatigue.
Cortisol, which helps the body maintain essential functions, like blood flow.

When these hormones are at work, we can feel generally O.K.,but .... the release of these fight-or-flight hormones dampens our immune response. ...it causes the immune system to withdraw.
(D) WHY THE IMMUNE SYSTEM WITHDRAWS
During times of real, acute stress — like threat of being eaten by a lion — our bodies can ill afford to waste resources dealing with illness. Viruses and bacteria, while dangerous, pale in comparison to the gigantic beast with razor-sharp teeth chasing us across the savannah. In that moment, our body needs all our energy, non-essential functions be damned. Step one: survive lion. Step two: deal with head cold.
(E) Sleep Is a Magic Bullet
Both you and your immune system need rest. ...If you don’t sleep, you will die — sooner. Studies show that lack of sleep leads to premature death through diseases like cancer and heart disease, and the reasons have everything to do with the immune system,
(F) SLEEP KEEPS YOUR SYSTEM IN BALANCE
This might sound contradictory. How can sleep can weaken the immune system, but also lead to inflammation?

Your immune system does not work as a binary system. It is not either on or off. It is made up of many molecules that send different signals, some urging inflammation and others restraining it. Your goal is to create an environment that doesn’t require your immune system to lose its natural balance.

Sleeplessness tips your immune system out of balance, hinders homeostasis, and turns the once elegant system into reckless pinballs of powerful molecules bouncing off your body’s bumper rails, and sometimes through them.

More concretely, it is a hard pill to swallow knowing there is no pill to swallow. The most important steps to support your immune system require discipline and habit.
(G) Exercise, Food and Meditation
Ward off illness with these three staples of a healthy body. ...the best things you can do for yourself when you’re sick are rest, eat well, don’t turn little things into lions, and remember that your immune system, if given your support, will likely do a darn good job of keeping you at harmony with the world.
allergies  bacteria  books  defensive_tactics  exercise  food  habits  homeostasis  howto  immune_system  inflammation  meditation  mens'_health  mindfulness  priorities  self-discipline  sleep  sleeplessness  steady-state  threats  viruses 
18 days ago by jerryking
Gut feelings: How microbes may affect your mental health
MAY 24, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | PAUL TAYLOR.

......A growing body of research suggests that what’s happening in the gut may also have an impact on the brain.....In a study published in February, for instance, Belgian scientists reported that two types of gut bacteria tend to be depleted in people with depression. The significance of this study is still open to debate. Although the scientists found “an association” between the absence of certain gut microbes and depression, they didn’t actually prove one thing causes the other......adds support to earlier studies that demonstrated mood and behaviour could be altered by manipulating the gut’s microbial contents.......It was once thought that depression resulted from a “chemical imbalance” in the brain. Based on this theory, patients should feel better by simply taking medications that restore the brain’s correct chemical balance.

But now researchers believe that there may be many different causes of depression, which is characterized by both structural and activity changes in the brain. Some evidence also suggests inflammation may play a role. “There are probably multiple types of depression that all masquerade as a single entity,” Sinyor explains. “And that’s the reason why we have many treatments that work, but certain treatments work for some people while other treatments work for others.”

Both Collins and Sinyor think it’s possible that research may eventually lead to new bacterial-based treatments for depression and other mental-health disorders.
bacteria  digestive_systems  gastrointestinal  guts  mens'_health  mental_health  microbes  microbiome 
21 days ago by jerryking
Pathogenic E. coli Extracts Nutrients from Infected Host Cells Utilizing Injectisome Components - ScienceDirect
Ecoli nanotubes!

Microbiota and intestinal epithelium restrict pathogen growth by rapid nutrient consumption. We investigated how pathogens circumvent this obstacle to colonize the host. Utilizing enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), we show that host-attached bacteria obtain nutrients from infected host cell in a process we termed host nutrient extraction (HNE). We identified an inner-membrane protein complex, henceforth termed CORE, as necessary and sufficient for HNE. The CORE is a key component of the EPEC injectisome, however, here we show that it supports the formation of an alternative structure, composed of membranous nanotubes, protruding from the EPEC surface to directly contact the host. The injectisome and flagellum are evolutionarily related, both containing conserved COREs. Remarkably, CORE complexes of diverse ancestries, including distant flagellar COREs, could rescue HNE capacity of EPEC lacking its native CORE. Our results support the notion that HNE is a widespread virulence strategy, enabling pathogens to thrive in competitive niches.
TNTs  bacteria 
22 days ago by Segalllab

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