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Pregnancy Timeline by SemestersFetal liver is producing blood cellsHead may position into pelvisBrain convolutions beginFull TermWhite fat begins to be madeWhite fat begins to be madeHead may position into pelvisImmune system beginningImmune system beginningPeriod of rapid brain growthBrain convolutions beginLungs begin to produce surfactantSensory brain waves begin to activateSensory brain waves begin to activateInner Ear Bones HardenBone marrow starts making blood cellsBone marrow starts making blood cellsBrown fat surrounds lymphatic systemFetal sexual organs visibleFinger and toe prints appearFinger and toe prints appearHeartbeat can be detectedHeartbeat can be detectedBasic Brain Structure in PlaceThe Appearance of SomitesFirst Detectable Brain WavesA Four Chambered HeartBeginning Cerebral HemispheresFemale Reproductive SystemEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterSecond TrimesterFirst TrimesterFertilizationDevelopmental Timeline
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News Alerts  May 9, 2013--------News Archive

 
The study showed that Bacteria species at day 30 in males was significantly associated with reduced growth. In contrast, the presence of E. coli four to 30 days after birth corresponded with expected growth in both male and female infants.





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Early infant growth rate linked to gut microbiota

Composition of gut microbiota – the body's microbial ecosystem -in a new-born baby's gut has been linked to the rate of growth in an infant and the likelihood of obesity.

The composition of gut microbiota in a new-born baby's gut has been linked to the rate of early infant growth, reports research published this week in PLOS Computational Biology. The findings support the assertion that the early development of "microbiota" – the body's microbial ecosystem - in an infant can influence growth and thereby the likelihood of obesity.


The sterile gut of a new-born baby is quickly populated by a variety of different microbes. This study identified connections between different bacteria and both expected and reduced infant growth rates.


The study, set up at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, by Principal Investigator Merete Eggesbo took data from infants when they were 4, 10, 30 and 120 days old. By looking at faecal samples from 218 babies, the statisticians Richard White and Shyamal Peddada developed a method aimed to identify the points and periods in time where the detection of specific bacterial groups was associated with an infant's development.


Their study showed that the detection of Bacteroides species at day 30 in males was significantly associated with reduced growth. In contrast the presence of E. coli species from four to 30 days after birth was observed to correspond with expected growth in both male and female infants.


The authors mapped part of infant gut microbiota using broad and unspecific probes only, thus the observed associations may be markers for other alterations in the gut microbiota composition. It is also possible that other factors early in life could give rise to such associations and the study may not have been large enough to adequately control for this. However, they believe their method can prove a useful tool for studying this intriguing topic further.


The authors comment: "We have created a new way of looking at the development of gut microbiota over time and relating this development to health outcomes. This is useful to the scientific community as it is difficult to characterise, in a meaningful way, how the gut develops over time.

After applying our new method, we found an indication that the composition of early life gut microbiota may be associated with how fast or slow babies grow in early life although there is also the possibility that factors early in life affect both gut microbiota and how fast the baby grows"


Knowledge of how the optimal composition of gut microbiota develops over time is a prerequisite for any successful manipulation of gut microbiota.

Financial disclosure: This work was supported by the Norwegian Research Council [214324]; and the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences [Z01 ES045005-14]. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation: White RA, Bjørnholt JV, Baird DD, Midtvedt T, Harris JR, et al. (2013) Novel Developmental Analyses Identify Longitudinal Patterns of Early Gut Microbiota that Affect Infant Growth. PLoS Comput Biol 9(5): e1003042. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003042

Please add this link to the freely available article in online versions of your report (the link will go live when the embargo ends): http://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003042

Contact:

Dr. Merete Eggesbø
Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Department of Genes and Environment, Division of Epidemiology
Oslo, Norway
Email: merete.eggesbo@fhi.no

Disclaimer

This press release refers to an upcoming article in PLOS Computational Biology. The release is provided by the article authors. Any opinions expressed in these releases or articles are the personal views of the journal staff and/or article contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLoS. PLoS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the releases and articles and your use of such information.

About PLOS Computational Biology

PLOS Computational Biology features works of exceptional significance that further our understanding of living systems at all scales through the application of computational methods. All works published in PLOS Computational Biology are open access. Everything is immediately available subject only to the condition that the original authorship and source are properly attributed. Copyright is retained.

About the Public Library of Science

The Public Library of Science (PLOS) is a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization founded to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. PLOS engages in outreach activities that promote Open Access and innovations in the communication of research for scientists and the public. 2013 marks PLOS's tenth year as an Open Access publisher, reaching an international audience through immediate and free availability of research on the Internet. PLOS publishes a suite of seven journals: PLOS Biology, PLOS Medicine, PLOS Genetics, PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Pathogens, and PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases and PLOS ONE, which publishes research from more than 50 diverse scientific fields and is the largest journal in the world.

Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-05/plos-eig050213.php