Microbiology News

Stealth pig cells may hold the key to treating diabetes in humans

harry shroederUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham researchers are exploring ways to wrap pig tissue with a protective coating to ultimately fight diabetes in humans. The nano-thin bilayers of protective material are meant to deter or prevent immune rejection.

The ultimate goal: transplant insulin-producing cell-clusters from pigs into humans to treat Type 1 diabetes.
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UAB Biomarker beats gold standard in detecting brain shunt infections

harry shroederIn a study of children with brain shunts at Children’s of Alabama, a University of Alabama at Birmingham investigational biomarker outperformed the current “gold standard” test for detecting bacterial infections in the shunts.
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Micro researchers involved in studies reporting a new quality-control checkpoint in developing B cells that may affect vaccine responses.

harry shroederMicro researchers involved in studies reporting a new quality-control checkpoint in developing B cells that may affect vaccine responses.




Checkpoint in B cell development discovered with possible implications on vaccine potency

Teaching metabolomics: a UAB outreach to researchers in sub-Saharan Africa


Janusz Kabarowski, Ph.D, is playing an important role in a metabolomics initiative.


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Brian ParksDr. Brian Parks, Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, and graduate of the UAB Microbiology Department, will speak May 7, 2013 at Noon in the Learning Resource Center (1714 9th Ave South) Room 102.

Parks, a graduate student in Dr. Janusz Kabarowski’s lab from 2004 to 2009, is studying the genetic nature of obesity and weight gain at the University of California, Los Angeles. His recent study using a systems genetics approach in mice analyzed genetic and environmental interactions affecting obesity, metabolic syndrome and gut microbiota composition. The results indicated that body-fat responses and gut microbe changes to high-fat, high-sugar diets have a very strong genetic component. “We have identified several genetic factors potentially regulating these responses,” says Parks.

Read Dr. Parks’ most recent results, “Genetic Control of Obesity and Gut Microbiota Composition in Response to High-Fat, High-Sucrose Diet in Mice,” in the January 2013 issue of Cell Metabolism and a commentary at http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/january2013/01282013weight.htm.