Tuesday January 21, 2020

Economics among bacteria: Even microbes in our body trade for survival

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Photo credit: livescience.com
Photo credit: jonlieffmd.com

New York: Economic concepts not just explain about how societies buy, sell, and trade goods and services but can also explore the mysteries about the behaviour of microbial life on the earth and inside our body, a study says.

Microbes are everywhere – in the air, soil, and even inside the human body.

Although microbes are ubiquitous, they interact with each other in complicated ways that are not well understood.

A large fraction of microbial life exists in complex communities where the exchange of molecules and proteins is vital for their survival.

They trade these essential resources to promote their own growth in ways that are similar to countries that exchange goods in modern economic markets.

Researchers from Claremont Graduate University, Boston University and Columbia University applied the general equilibrium theory of economics — which explains the exchange of resources in complex economies — to understand the trade of resources in microbial communities.

The researchers experimented with a synthetic consortium of Escherichia coli cells.

They manipulated the cells’ DNA to artificially alter the production and export rate of the cells, and then tested the population growth implications of the theory.

As trade increased, the bacterial communities grew faster, the results said.

While all of the microbes benefited from trade, the more a bacteria strain exported, the slower it grew relative to the importing bacteria strain.

“That means that species face a trade off between growing their communities faster versus increasing their own population relative to that of a trading partner,” said Joshua Tasoff, economics professor at Claremont Graduate University.

“The results open the door for the application of other economic concepts that could improve our understanding of microbial and other biological communities,” Tasoff said.

The results were published in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

(IANS)

Next Story

Diabetes is an Independent Risk Factor For Heart Failure: Study

According to health expert in India, if poorly controlled, diabetes leads to cardiomyopathy resulting in progressive deterioration of pumping capacity of heart

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Diabetes
The study shows that diabetes is an independent risk factor for the development of heart failure in the community dwelling population. Pixabay

Heart problems are a common development for people with diabetes and now researchers have found that diabetes is an independent risk factor for the development of heart failure in the community dwelling population.

According to health expert in India, if poorly controlled, diabetes leads to cardiomyopathy resulting in progressive deterioration of pumping capacity of heart.

“Diabetes is also a major risk factor for atherosclerosis and this eventually leads to blockage of coronary arteries. This leads to heart attack or myocardial infarction,” Satish Koul, HOD and Director Internal Medicine, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Gurugram, told IANS. “Due to myocardial infarction, the heart muscle becomes weak and eventually heart fails as a pump leading to congestive heart failure,” Koul added.

According to the current study, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers evaluated the long-term impact of diabetes on the development of heart failure, both with preserved ejection fraction – a measurement of the percentage of blood leaving the heart with each contraction – and reduced ejection fraction. They also looked at mortality in a community population, controlling for hypertension, coronary artery disease and diastolic function.

From an initial group of 2,042 residents of Olmsted County in US, 116 study participants with diabetes were matched 1:2 for age, hypertension, sex, coronary artery disease and diastolic dysfunction to 232 participants without diabetes.

Over the 10-year follow-up period, 21 per cent of participants with diabetes developed heart failure, independent of other causes.

Diabetes
Heart problems are a common development for people with diabetes and now researchers have found that diabetes is an independent risk factor for the development of heart failure in the community dwelling population. Pixabay

In comparison, only 12 per cent of patients without diabetes developed heart failure. Cardiac death, heart attack and stroke were not statistically different in the study between the two groups.

The study shows that diabetes is an independent risk factor for the development of heart failure in the community dwelling population. Furthermore, the outcome data support the concept of a diabetic cardiomyopathy.

ALSO READ: India’s Domestic Air Passenger Traffic Rose 3.74% in 2019: Report

This research extends previous findings and demonstrates that even without a known cardiac structural abnormality and with a normal ejection fraction, diabetic patients are still at increased risk of developing heart failure as compared to their nondiabetic counterparts. (IANS)