Basic Science Year in Review –#NASPGHAN 2014

John Barnard –Basic Science Year in Review

“Emerging Trends and Provocative Findings in Basic Science”

This blog entry has abbreviated/summarized this terrific presentation. Though not intentional, some important material is likely to have been omitted; in addition, transcription errors are possible as well.  To minimize these issues, I have placed a link to most of Dr. Barnard’s slides which he shared:

2014 John Barnard Slides

“Big Data” –big increase in “big data” cited in pubmed over past year.

  • Good read on this subject: Foreign Affairs: The Rise of Big Data Kenneth Cukier

Scientific fraud –more attention to this issue this past year. Two papers in Nature were retracted. One researcher committed suicide and one arrested. Scientific fraud undermines important messages & ruins credibility of other important advances.

CRISPR-Cas9: Gene editing.  CRISPRs –“RNA guides”  Cas9: “molecular scissors” (endonucleases)

Genome editing has never been easier.”  Examples:

  • Cell Stem Cell 2013: 13: 653-58. “Functional repair of CFTR by CRISPR-Cas9”
  • Also, genome editing has been used in mouse model of tyrosinemia.

Liver regeneration in zebrafish. Implication: Liver cells will be regenerated in humans. Gastroenterol 2014; 146: 789.

Microbiome Big Data:

  • J Clin Invest 2014; 124: 3617. This was a very important and complex study.  The slides explaining this study start at slide 35.
  • Pediatric Crohn disease exhibit specific ileal transcriptome and microbiome signature.
  • RISK study (CCFA). Treatment-naïve, 28 sites.
  • 1281 ileal host genes in ileocolonic Crohn’s, 1055 in Colonic Crohn’s had ileal host genes =82% similar, 232 host genes in ulcerative colitis –18% similar to ileocolonic Crohn’s.
  • Tissue microbiomes are where changes are noted; changes are not evident in luminal microbiome.
  • Antibiotics worsen dysbiosis.
  • Microbiome at diagnosis strongly correlates with Crohn’s disease.

Microbiome –affects the entire body:

  • J Clin Invest 2014; 124: 3391. Incorporation of microbes with genetically-engineered E coli can prevent obesity in mice

Recommended Reading by Dr. Barnard: “Missing Microbes” How the overuse of antibiotics is fueling our modern plagues. Martin Blaser