Type I linked to immune response to normal gut flora

So anyhow, I have been thinking about going back to graduate school to get a PhD, this time in Molecular biology / microbiology / bioinformatics, three subjects that have a huge overlap, as, when you take a sample of DNA from a “wild” environment (soil, human intestine, tray under 7-11 slurpee machine), and sequence it all, you have absolutely huge piles of data that require some fairly complicated computer programs and statistical methods to make sense of.

In reading around on the subject, I found this. There has been a recent batch of studies trying to find a “core” population you would expect to find in a human gut, and to find certain ecological types that correspond to certain disease states. This particular group of bacteria tend to show up in people who have or have recently developed Type I diabetes- BUT it’s not just the bacteria. You have to have a particular immune system gene that codes for a compliment protein that attacks these bacteria. Not everyone has it, and they’re therefore not genetically predisposed to Type I.


Are you sure you linked to the correct article? The one you linked here says nothing about diabetes or immune response.

Only a true PhD-to-be would enjoy messing around with fecal habitats. If they found something specific to Crohn’s, maybe there’s something specific to Type 1. Johns Hopkins isn’t far away - just a short move from VA. Best wishes! Don’t get lost in the population. Find someone doing the research and work with him to find the sweet spot you enjoy.

Good catch, thanks John.


Sweet:) very interesting too:)

I just read an article (think it was med net) about possible link to cow milk antibodies and coxsackie virus as triggers for Type 1.

I’m an ex micro/mol biologist (the money here is crap if you haven’t got a PhD, and not much better after) so I am now a science sales rep - bioinformatics is now huge with the nextgen sequencing, and the data availabe is massive, and weirdly facinating! It’s also creating some weird crossovers between formerly serperate divisions, which, looking at what multiple people are doing is pretty cool. Go for it, and enjoy the science (and this comic) www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1329