Next-generation sequencing analysis reveals high bacterial diversity in wild venomous and non-venomous snakes from India

Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases, Vol. 24, No. 41 (2018), 22 December 2018

Sajesh Puthenpurackal Krishnankutty, Megha Muraleedharan, Rajadurai Chinnasamy Perumal, Saju Michael, Jubina Benny, Bipin Balan, Pramod Kumar, Jishnu Manazhi, Bangaruswamy Dhinoth Kumar, Sam Santhosh, George Thomas, Ravi Gupta and Arun Zachariah

The oral cavities of snakes are replete with various types of bacterial flora. Culture-dependent studies suggest that some of the bacterial species are responsible for secondary bacterial infection associated with snakebite. A complete profile of the ophidian oral bacterial community has been unreported until now. Therefore, in the present study, we determined the complete bacterial compositions in the oral cavity of some snakes from India.

A cancer vaccine approach for personalized treatment of Lynch Syndrome

Nature Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, No. 12122 (2018), 14 August 2018

Snigdha Majumder, Rakshit Shah, Jisha Elias, Malini Manoharan, Priyanka Shah, Anjali Kumari, Papia Chakraborty, Vasumathi Kode, Yogesh Mistry, Karunakaran Coral, Bharti Mittal, Sakthivel Murugan SM, Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ravi Gupta, Amitabha Chaudhuri & Arati Khanna-Gupta

Lynch Syndrome (LS) is an inherited heterozygous autosomal dominant disorder which predisposes affected individuals to the risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) as well as to endometrial carcinomas, tumours of the stomach, small intestines, ureter, brain, pelvis and prostate among others1. It is the most common hereditary CRC syndrome accounting for 2–5% of all CRCs. In the developed world, the estimated disease frequency ranges from 1:370 to 1:20002 but no prevalence details have been officially reported from developing nations to date. In India, while the overall incidence of CRC is comparatively lower than in the west, a large percentage of patients develop CRC before the age of 45 with a higher proportion (10–15%) of LS-CRC cases3.

Becker’s Hospital Review: Tumor microenvironment is a powerful companion diagnostic for cancer immunotherapy applications

Becker’s Hospital Review, 21 February 2018

Sam Santhosh, Hiranjith G.H., Michael Nemzek and Amitabha Chaudhuri

Currently approved checkpoint inhibitors are antibodies that block the function of three key proteins expressed on the surface of T cells: CTLA-4, PD-1 and PD-L1. Under normal conditions, these proteins function as brakes to prevent immune-related toxicity from arising because of persistent T cell activity. Cancer hijacks this essential function   of immune homeostasis to protect itself from immune- mediated elimination [1, 2]. By expressing high levels of PD- L1, tumor cells engage PD-1 receptors on T cells, suppressing  their anti-tumor activity and escaping T cell-mediated killing. By blocking PD-1 and PD-L1 signaling, the checkpoint inhibitors remove the brakes on T cells imposed by the tumor and enhance their anti-tumor activity

Ancient Human Migrations to and through Jammu Kashmir- India were not of Males Exclusively

Nature Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, No. 851 (2018), 16 January 2018

Indu Sharma, Varun Sharma, Akbar Khan, Parvinder Kumar, Ekta Rai, Rameshwar N. K. Bamezai, Miguel Vilar & Swarkar Sharma

Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), the Northern most State of India, has been under-represented or altogether absent in most of the phylogenetic studies carried out in literature, despite its strategic location in the Himalayan region. Nonetheless, this region may have acted as a corridor to various migrations to and from mainland India, Eurasia or northeast Asia. The belief goes that most of the migrations post-late Pleistocene were mainly male dominated, primarily associated with population invasions, where female migration may thus have been limited. To evaluate female-centered migration patterns in the region, we sequenced 83 complete mitochondrial genomes of unrelated individuals belonging to different ethnic groups from the state. We observed a high diversity in the studied maternal lineages, identifying 19 new maternal sub-haplogroups (HGs). High maternal diversity and our phylogenetic analyses suggest that the migrations post-Pleistocene were not strictly paternal, as described in the literature. These preliminary observations highlight the need to carry out an extensive study of the endogamous populations of the region to unravel many facts and find links in the peopling of India.
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