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Cereal fibres such as wheat bran are considered to offer human health benefits via their impact on the intestinal microbiota. We show here by 16S rRNA gene‐based community analysis that providing amylase‐pretreated wheat bran as the sole added energy source to human intestinal microbial communities in anaerobic fermentors leads to the selective and progressive enrichment of a small number of bacterial species. In particular, OTUs corresponding to uncultured Lachnospiraceae (Firmicutes) related to Eubacterium xylanophilum and Butyrivibrio spp. were strongly enriched (by five to 160 fold) over 48 hours in four independent experiments performed with different faecal inocula, while nine other Firmicutes OTUs showed > 5‐fold enrichment in at least one experiment. Ferulic acid was released from the wheat bran during degradation but was rapidly converted to phenylpropionic acid derivatives via hydrogenation, demethoxylation and dehydroxylation to give metabolites that are detected in human faecal samples. Pure culture work using bacterial isolates related to the enriched OTUs, including several butyrate‐producers, demonstrated that the strains caused substrate weight loss and released ferulic acid, but with limited further conversion. We conclude that breakdown of wheat bran involves specialist primary degraders while the conversion of released ferulic acid is likely to involve a multi‐species pathway.
Abstract The single radial immunodiffusion assay has been the accepted method for determining the potency of inactivated influenza vaccines since 1978. The world‐wide adoption of this assay for vaccine standardisation was facilitated through collaborative studies that demonstrated a high ... more
Abstract Background Whether morbidity from the 1918‐19 influenza pandemic discriminated by socioeconomic status has remained a subject of debate for 100 years. In lack of data to study this issue recent literature have hypothesized that morbidity was “socially neutral”. Objectives ... more
Smart skin that can respond to external stimuli could have important applications in medicine and robotics. Using only items found in a typical household, researchers have created multi-sensor artificial skin that's capable of sensing pressure, temperature, humidity, proximity, pH, and air ... more
Some doctors may recommend that patients with the flu take acetaminophen, or paracetemol, to relieve their symptoms; however, a new randomized clinical trial found no benefits to the over-the-counter medication in terms of fighting the influenza virus or reducing patients' temperature or ot ... more
A new study that investigated the potential of certain psychological traits for predisposing heterosexuals to have negative attitudes towards homosexual people found that psychoticism - which is present in severe psychopathological conditions but may also contribute to less severe states of ... more