Recent quotes:

Researchers identify genetic factors that may influence COVID-19 susceptibility -- ScienceDaily

These findings demonstrate a possible association between ACE2 and TMPRSS2 polymorphisms and COVID-19 susceptibility, and indicate that a systematic investigation of the functional polymorphisms these variants among different populations could pave the way for precision medicine and personalized treatment strategies for COVID-19. However, all investigations in this study were performed in general populations, not with COVID-19 patient genetic data. Therefore, Dr. Cheng calls for a human genome initiative to validate his findings and to identify new clinically actionable variants to accelerate precision medicine for COVID-19.

Your microbiome may change how drugs affect you, research confirms

For the Cell study, the researchers grew the microbes from a patient’s fecal matter in test tubes. They added one of 575 drugs in separate tubes and waited to see if the microbiome had an effect — and in particular, whether it rendered the drug inactive or even changed it into a more toxic substance, which could trigger side effects in a patient. The gut microbes broke down capecitabine very differently from the way it is processed by the liver, for example. While scientists had already observed that capecitabine often affects patients differently, how and if it was broken down by the microbiome was unknown before this study, and the new findings could shed light on those variations. The authors used 20 more patient fecal samples to test differences between how individual patients’ gut microbes break down the same drug, examining 23 drugs from the first experiment. There were huge differences between patients — some drugs were only broken down by one patient. Only three patients broke down digoxin, a drug used to treat arrhythmia, for example — suggesting that the other patients might not see the same benefit or side effects from the drug.

Clostridioides difficile infection flourishes with a high-protein, high-fat diet -- ScienceDaily

The group studied 4 groups of mice with 5 animals each. Each group received antibiotics and was fed a different diet: one was high-fat, high-protein; another was high-fat, low-protein; a third was high-carbohydrate; and the fourth was a standard laboratory diet for experimental mice. The results were startling. In the high-protein, high-fat group, all the animals developed severe infections and died within 4 days. In the high-fat, low-protein group, only 2 animals died. In the high-carbohydrate group, 2 mice showed mild symptoms and recovered and in the standard diet group, all of the animals showed signs of infection but also recovered.

Using Open Questions to Understand 650 People’s Experiences With Antipsychotic Drugs | Schizophrenia Bulletin | Oxford Academic

In this study, 650 people, from 29 countries, responded, in an online survey, to “Overall in my life antipsychotic medications have been _____?” and “Is there anything else you would like to say, or emphasise, about your experiences with antipsychotic drugs?” Of the total participants, 14.3% were categorized as reporting purely positive experiences, 27.9% had mixed experiences, and 57.7% reported only negative ones.

Mechanisms of tissue and cell-type specificity in heritable traits and diseases | Nature Reviews Genetics

Hundreds of heritable traits and diseases that are caused by germline aberrations in ubiquitously expressed genes manifest in a remarkably limited number of cell types and tissues across the body. Unravelling mechanisms that govern their tissue-specific manifestations is critical for our understanding of disease aetiologies and may direct efforts to develop treatments.

Before bed may be the best time to take blood pressure meds, study suggests | MinnPost

“The same medication ingested at different times of the day actually has different pharmacological properties, behaving like totally different medications,” explained Ramón Hermida, the study’s lead author and a chronobiologist at the University of Vigo in Spain, in an interview with NBC News.

Crohn's disease study identifies genetic variant with potential to personalize treatment -- ScienceDaily

This research identified a genetic marker HLA-DQA1*05, carried by 40 per cent of the European population that increases risk of development of antibodies against infliximab and adalimumab 2-fold.

Gut bacteria 'fingerprint' predicts radiotherapy side effects: First clinical study to show link between types of gut bacteria and radiotherapy-induced gut damage -- ScienceDaily

The researchers found that patients who had a high risk of gut damage had 30-50 per cent higher levels of three bacteria types, and lower overall diversity in their gut microbiome, than patients who had not undergone any radiotherapy. This suggests that patients with less diverse gut microbiomes and high levels of the bacteria -- Clostridium IV, Roseburia and Phascolarctobacterium -- are more susceptible to gut damage. The researchers also believe these patients may require more 'good bacteria' to maintain a healthy gut -- and so may be more susceptible to side effects when these bacteria are killed by radiation.

African American children respond differently to asthma medications: BARD trial suggests shortcomings in treatment guidelines and demonstrates need for trials of specific subgroups -- ScienceDaily

More adult African Americans responded better to adding long-acting beta agonists (49 percent) versus increasing inhaled steroids alone (28 percent). Caucasians have shown a similar response in previous trials. However, even numbers of African American children responded better to increasing the dose of inhaled corticosteroids along (46 percent) and adding long-acting beta agonists (46 percent). "These results indicate that asthma treatment guidelines do not necessarily apply to African American children and that physicians should consider alternatives," said Dr. Wechsler. "We need to do a better job of understanding how different subgroups respond to asthma treatment."

Biological clock influences immune response efficiency -- ScienceDaily

"Our study shows that T cells are more prone to be activated at certain times of the day. Identifying the mechanisms through which the biological clock modulates the T cell response will help us better understand the processes that regulate optimal T cell responses. This knowledge will contribute to improving vaccination strategies and cancer immune therapies," states Nathalie Labrecque, Professor at the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology at Université de Montréal.

Some high-cholesterol genes differ between countries -

They found that the results were broadly consistent across European and Asian groups, with about three quarters of genetic markers applied similarly across the different groups, but only 10% of the genetic markers for triglycerides (the most common type of fat in the body) were implicated in the same cardiovascular risk factors among people from Uganda.

Mapping human microbiome drug metabolism by gut bacteria and their genes | Nature

Individuals vary widely in their responses to medicinal drugs, which can be dangerous and expensive owing to treatment delays and adverse effects. Although increasing evidence implicates the gut microbiome in this variability, the molecular mechanisms involved remain largely unknown. Here we show, by measuring the ability of 76 human gut bacteria from diverse clades to metabolize 271 orally administered drugs, that many drugs are chemically modified by microorganisms.

Gut bacteria may be linked to high blood pressure and depression -- ScienceDaily

The researchers isolated DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, the carrier of genetic information) from gut bacteria obtained from the stool samples of 105 volunteers. They used a new technique involving artificial-intelligence software to analyze the bacteria, which revealed four distinct types of bacterial genes and signature molecules. Surprisingly, the investigators discovered unique patterns of bacteria from people with 1) high blood pressure plus depression; 2) high blood pressure without depression; 3) depression with healthy blood pressure; or 4) healthy subjects without depression or high blood pressure.

N-of-1 Clinical Trials: Removing the Hay to Find the Needle | Clinical Chemistry

an observed lack of universality in response to interventions and a greater focus on the individual with the emergence of precision medicine. A strong focus on the uniqueness of each individual has led to many discoveries in cancer diagnostics and drug efficacy and has prompted the US Food and Drug Administration to relabel numerous approved drugs to include pharmacogenomics information.

Evaluation of person-level heterogeneity of treatment effects in published multiperson N-of-1 studies: systematic review and reanalysis | BMJ Open

person-level HTE is common and often substantial