Thursday, November 14, 2013

Poo proteomics!

It is probably a little immature that I'm taking this very serious, interesting, and well published study and reducing it to the term "poo proteomics."  But sometimes, that just happens, and it's still my blog (please refer to disclaimer page)!  (I humbly issue an apology to the authors of this very nice paper if you find it offensive.  You have to admit that my title is catchier.)

The paper is actually called "Host-centric proteomics of stool: A novel strategy focused on intestinal responses to the gut microbiota," and is from a team out of Standford.  In this very serious study, the researchers use a number of complex in vivo models of different gut flora and perform proteomics on the output.

Just a side note (and I'm totally cracking up here):  I'm picturing the staff scientist who runs this instrument and his/her face when they explain what they want to inject into his extremely well maintained analytical instrument....  To my good friends out there in Core lab type roles, I apologize because I've pictured a lot of your faces during this imaginary dialogue in my head.

Back to serious:  What they demonstrate:  more complex gut flora equals more complex poo proteome.  The results sound obvious, but imagine how useful an assay would be for gut infections (like the crazy deadly C. difficile variants) if you only had to take a tiny sample of stool (which a lot of hospitals acquire anyway) to classify. And come on, somebody was going to do this eventually, right?!?

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