Monday, January 16, 2017

BacterioFiles 282 - Mycobacteria Make Mice Mellow

Elevated plus-maze
By Bd008 - Own work
CC BY-SA 3.0
This episode: Vaccinating mice with heat-killed soil bacteria reduced their stressed behavior and inflammation!
Download Episode (9.8 MB, 10.7 minutes)

Show notes:
Journal Paper:
Reber SO, Siebler PH, Donner NC, Morton JT, Smith DG, Kopelman JM, Lowe KR, Wheeler KJ, Fox JH, Hassell JE, Greenwood BN, Jansch C, Lechner A, Schmidt D, Uschold-Schmidt N, Füchsl AM, Langgartner D, Walker FR, Hale MW, Perez GL, Treuren WV, González A, Halweg-Edwards AL, Fleshner M, Raison CL, Rook GA, Peddada SD, Knight R, Lowry CA. 2016. Immunization with a heat-killed preparation of the environmental bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae promotes stress resilience in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci 113:E3130–E3139.

Other interesting stories:
  • Art with glowing bacteria
  • Making good bacterial tumor killers (paper)
  • It's worth considering plants' microbes in addition to their genes (review)
  • Virus affects how bees are attracted to plants
  • Finding new biofuels algae in wastewater (paper)

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    1. This is quiet fascinating, but I must admit the possibly implications of this in larger creatures such as humans is frightening if we get the point it can be used effectively. Imagine soldiers with the same level of 'courage' per say that the mice did when exploring open areas. On the flip side, I wonder if this sort of method could help cure phobias?

      1. Interesting possibilities! It does seem possible that if it works in humans, it could reduce fearfulness and phobias in soldiers and civilians.

    2. I found this to be very interesting. A bacteria injection to help cope with fear? I'm not sure I would want it injected into me anytime soon, if it were to ever get to the point that it could be used on humans safely and effectively. I guess it would depend on what type of fear, or like Jeremy put it, "phobias", a person may have. I guess if it were proven to be safe and effective, and tested in many, many people, I may would be willing to give it a try myself!

      1. Sure, if this killed bacteria suspension, or something derived from it, goes through all the testing required to be approved by the FDA and such, it'll be as safe and effective as vaccines or other injectable pharmaceutical products.