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Seerave Fellows Retreat 2021

This year we held the fourth Seerave Fellows Retreat from November 1 – 4, 2021, for the second time in an online setting. Despite being spread all over the world, flourishing study results, intense academic discussions and highly interesting perspectives shared by the entrepreneurial partners of the network as well as short virtual lab tours made this year’s retreat a success!

Here are the key highlights from the academic projects of this year’s retreat:

Controlled dietary interventions in melanoma patients (MDA):

The recruitment for the Phase 1 study on high fiber diet in melanoma survivors was completed and preliminary analysis showed shifts in the gut microbiome, circulating metabolites and cytokines. For the…

Microbiome Seerave Community

The Microbiota Vault is being launched in Switzerland

In 2018, Seerave embarked on the vision of Martin Blaser and Gloria-Maria Dominguez-Bello aiming to establish “The Microbiota Vault” – an initiative examining the potential of setting up a global repository of human microbiota. This repository, a “Noah’s Ark for microbes” would focus on the preservation of the current global diversity of the human microbiota, on backing-up global research collections and to further explore the role of the microbiome in health and disease. The launch of this important project was only possible thanks to philanthropic co-impact including Gebert Rüf Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation joining forces.

We hope others will join in as well!

For our German-speaking network: please have a look at the…

Cancer Immunity Microbiome

The gut microbiome: what the oncologist ought to know

The gut microbiome (GM) has been implicated in a vast number of human pathologies and has become a focus of oncology research over the past 5 years. The normal gut microbiota imparts specific function in host nutrient metabolism, xenobiotic and drug metabolism, maintenance of structural integrity of the gut mucosal barrier, immunomodulation and protection against pathogens. Strong evidence is emerging to support the effects of the GM on the development of some malignancies but also on responses to cancer therapies, most notably, immune checkpoint inhibition. Tools for manipulating the GM including dietary modification, probiotics and faecal microbiota transfer (FMT) are in development. Current understandings of the many complex interrelationships between the GM, cancer, the immune system, nutrition and medication…

Microbiome Nutrition Seerave Community

Happy #WorldMicrobiomeDay 2021! 🎉

On World Microbiome Day we celebrate all things microbial, all around the world.

Today we would like to raise special attention to one of our initiatives: The collaboration between MyFoodRepo @EPFL and Microsetta @UCSD. Together they aim to roll out a US-wide citizen science project aiming to collect as much information as possible on everyday food items we consume. This information will help to train an algorithm that enables researchers in the future to better track nutrition and give more profound insights. Therefore…

We ask all of you to contribute to the microbe revolution: the “FoodRepo Scan” app is a new way #CitizenScientists can help advance the understanding between…

Microbiome Nutrition

Long-term dietary patterns are associated with pro- inflammatory and ...

Researchers found that specific foods and nutrients correlated with species known to have mucosal protection and anti-inflammatory effects, according to data published in Gut.

“We identified dietary patterns that consistently correlate with groups of bacteria with shared functional roles in both health and disease,” Laura A. Bolte, BSc, from the department of gastroenterology and hepatology, University of Groningen and University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands, and colleagues wrote. “Moreover, specific foods and nutrients were associated with species known to infer mucosal protection and anti-inflammatory effects. We propose microbial mechanisms through which the diet affects inflammatory responses in the gut as a rationale for future intervention studies.”

Bolte and colleagues analyzed the relationship between 173 dietary factors and the microbiome of 1,425 patients from different cohorts…

Cancer Metabolites Microbiome Nutrition

Ketogenic diet and ketone bodies enhance the anticancer effects of ...

Limited experimental evidence bridges nutrition and cancer immunosurveillance. Here, the team at IGR Paris shows that ketogenic diet (KD) or its principal ketone body, 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB), most specifically in an intermittent scheduling, induced T cell-dependent tumour growth retardation of aggressive tumour models.

In conditions in which anti-PD-1, alone or in combination with anti-CTLA-4, failed to reduce tumour growth in mice receiving a standard diet, KD or oral supplementation of 3HB reestablished therapeutic responses. Supplementation of KD with sucrose (which breaks ketogenesis, abolishing 3HB production) or with a pharmacological antagonist of the 3HB receptor GPR109A abolished the anti-tumour effects. Mechanistically, 3HB prevented the ICB-linked up-regulation of PD-L1 on myeloid cells while favouring the expansion of CXCR3+ T cells. KD induced compositional changes of…

Seerave Community

Seerave Fellows Retreat 2020

We had been looking forward to meeting in person in Vienna this year but a certain virus has meant that this year’s Seerave Fellows Retreat had to be held in front of screens at home or in the office. Nevertheless, we are pleased to announce that the third Seerave Fellows Retreat from November 2nd – 6th, 2020 was as inspiring as always. A series of virtual meetings allowed the members of the network to update each other on the different research projects and also enable everyone to exchange skills and knowhow and discover further synergies within the network. 

Next to holding the meeting virtually, this year’s meeting was set up slightly differently: Over the first three days outstanding presentations were…

Microbiome Nutrition

Landmark nutritional study PREDICT shows dietary inflammation after ...

Researchers led by the Department of Twin Research announced today the first published results from PREDICT, the largest ongoing nutritional study of its kind.

The team found a wide range of metabolic responses after eating in apparently healthy adults, and that inflammation triggered by the food we eat varies up to ten-fold.

Poor metabolic responses to food, where the body takes longer and works harder to clear the blood of fat and sugar, are linked with increased risk of conditions such as low-grade inflammatory diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

The results suggests improved health could be achieved by eating foods that are personalised to reduce inflammation after meals.

Senior researcher on the study Professor Tim Spector said:   “When it comes to weight, we’ve traditionally put a huge emphasis on factors we…

Conservation of microbial diversity Microbiome

Switzerland potential home for “Noah’s Ark” of microbes to preserve ...

A new study supported by Seerave Foundation and led by world-leading scientists finds that the creation of a “microbial Noah’s Ark” is feasible and should move forward into a pilot project phase with Switzerland one of two locations. The ultimate aim is to preserve the trillions of microbes that are essential to human health.

The Microbiota Vault would gather beneficial germs from human populations whose microbiomes are uncompromised by antibiotics, processed diets and other ill effects of modern society that have contributed to massive loss of microbial diversity and an accompanying rise in health problems. The human microbiome includes the trillions of microscopic organisms that live on and in our bodies, contributing to our health in myriad ways.

The feasibility…

Cancer Smart Toilet

Stanford’s smart toilet analyzes urine and feces for signs of disease

The toilets of the future will scan and analyze human waste in detail for faster detection of various diseases.

Human urine and feces contain a lot of information about human health and wellbeing, and therefore scientists and engineers are developing new technologies that could help us unlock it. Among them is a group of scientists from Stanford University, which is developing new disease-detecting technology in the lab.

They recently introduced a new type of “smart toilet” fitted with the technology that automatically scans urine and faeces for possible signs of disease. The intelligent toilet system can detect different types of cancer, such as colorectal or urologic cancers, as well as some digestive and kidney disorders.

When I’d bring it up, people would sort of laugh because…

Immunity Metabolites Microbiome Nutrition

Ketogenic Diets Alter Gut Microbiome in Humans, Mice

Study Suggests Potential Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Ketone Bodies Via Effects on Gut Microbial Ecosystems

Low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diets, which have attracted public interest in recent years for their proposed benefits in lowering inflammation and promoting weight loss and heart health, have a dramatic impact on the microbes residing in the human gut, collectively referred to as the microbiome, according to a new UC San Francisco study of a small cohort of volunteer subjects.

Additional research in mice showed that so-called ketone bodies, a molecular byproduct that gives the ketogenic diet its name, directly impact the gut microbiome in ways that may ultimately suppress inflammation, suggesting evidence for potential benefits of ketone bodies as a therapy for autoimmune disorders affecting the gut.

In ketogenic diets, carbohydrate consumption…