Episode 10: The microbiome and gut-brain communications with Dr. John Cryan

It’s been a little while since we’ve had a new episode of The Microbiome Podcast but we are back after a summer hiatus. On this week’s episode we spoke with Dr. John Cryan from University College Cork in Ireland. Dr. Cryan is a world leader in the study of the communication between the gut and the brain and how the microbiome may influence this pathway. We will be back with a new episode in a few weeks so if you have any questions or requests, please either email us at info@microbiomeinstitute.org or call us at 518-945-8583 and leave a voicemail.

On this week’s episode we discussed: 

Episode 3: Emulsifiers in our food with Dr. Andrew Gewirtz

In this episode of The Microbiome Podcast, we talk with Dr. Andrew Gewirtz, a professor at Georgia State University. 

The episode begins with David and William discussing a few recent news stories about the microbiome:

In the conversation with Dr. Andrew Gewirtz (10:22) they discuss:

  • Dr. Gewirtz’s research on metabolic syndrome, a term for conditions that are related to diabetes. Learn more about Dr. Gewirtz and his research
  • (13:38) His research on Toll-like receptor 5 and how it activates innate immunity in order to combat infectious agents. Read his paper in Science.
  • (21:09) Emulsifiers and his most recent research that showed emulsifiers in food may lead to inflammatory diseases. Read the Nature paper. Read our blog post on the study
  • (32:33) If Dr. Gewirtz changed his diet as a result of the research and if supplement testing methods need to be changed.
  • (39:19) Dr. Gewirtz’s alma matter the University of Albany and Georgia State University where he is a professor, two teams that made the NCAA tournament.

After the interview (42:50) William and David gave their own NCAA picks and make a friendly wager on their picks.

Episode 2: All things microbiome with Dr. Jonathan Eisen

The second episode of The Microbiome Podcast features a conversation with Dr. Jonathan Eisen of University of California, Davis.

In this episode William and David discuss two recent stories in the news:

  • (:44) A study out of Sweden that correlates hand washing dishes to lower levels of allergies in children. Read more from the blog.
  • (1:49) A study that found emulsifiers, a common additive in food, leads to obesity, colitis, and other inflammatory diseases. Read more from the blog.

During the interview with Dr. Eisen they discussed:

  • (3:50) The research that Dr. Eisen focuses on in his own laboratory, the evolution of microbes using DNA sequencing of individual microbes and communities of microbes. Read about Jonathan’s research and laboratory.
  • (4:52) The Earth Microbiome Project, a project led by Dr. Rob Knight and Dr. Jack Gilbert that is looking to sequence millions of microbial communities from around the world. Read more about the Earth Microbiome Project
  • (7:05) Research on the microbial communities on the International Space Station. Read a post by Jonathan on this project
  • (7:39) Research on the microbiome of animals that focuses on pet health, including research on kittens and the microbiome of dogs’ mouths. The Kitten Microbiome.
  • (8:53) Research out of Dr. Eisen’s lab that studied the microbes that are on food and the impact this may have on colonization of the microbiome in humans. Read our blog post from a few months ago about this research.
  • (13:30) Probiotics, the efficacy of probiotics, and risks and problems of the probiotic industry.
  • (15:48) Dr. Eisen’s “Overselling the microbiome” award, why he started it, and a recent awardee. We discuss the risks when doctors claim they can cure things with microbiome science that are unproven. Read about the award.
  • (23:00) Open science and open access publishing and Dr. Eisen’s connection to the Public Library of Science (PLOS). Read about PLoS.
  • (25:58) Women in science and ways to overcome existing disparities.  
  • (31:30) Symbiota, a plant microbiome company in Boston that Dr. Eisen serves as an advisor for. Read about Symbiota.
  • (34:48) How Dr. Eisen got into science.
  • (38:58) What is phylogenomics and how he invented the word.

And finally, (40:55) David and William discuss The Dress and if it is white and gold or black and blue.