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Before dieting, about 3 percent of the gut bacteria in the obese participants was Bacteroidetes

Both obese mice — and people — had more of one type of bacteria and less of another kind, according to two studies published Thursday in the journal Nature.

A «microbial component» appears to contribute to obesity, said study lead author Jeffrey Gordon, director of Washington University’s Center for Genome Sciences.

Obese humans and mice had a lower percentage of a family of bacteria called Bacteroidetes and more of a type of bacteria called Firmicutes, Gordon and his colleagues found.

The researchers are not sure if more Firmicutes makes you fat or if people who are obese grow more of that type of bacteria.

But growing evidence of this link gives scientists a potentially new and still distant way of fighting obesity: Change the bacteria in the intestines and stomach. It also may lead to a way of fighting malnutrition in the developing world.

Nikhil Dhurandhar, a professor of infection and obesity at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 거창출장안마 was not part of the research, but said it may eventually change the way obesity is treated.

«We are getting more and more evidence to show that obesity isn’t what we thought it used to be,» Dhurandhar said. «It isn’t just (that) you’re eating too much and you’re lazy.»

He said the field of «infectobesity» looks at obesity with multiple causes, including viruses and microbes. In another decade or so, the different causes of obesity could have different treatments. The current regimen of diet and exercise «is like treating all fevers with one aspirin,» Dhurandhar said.

In one study, Gordon and colleagues looked at what happened in mice with changes in bacteria level. When lean mice with no germs in their guts had larger ratios of Firmicutes transplanted, they got «twice as fat» and took in more calories from the same amount of food than mice with the more normal bacteria ratio, said Washington University microbiology instructor Ruth Ley, a study co-author.

It was as if one group got far more calories from the same bowl of Cheerios than the other, Gordon said.

In a study of dozen dieting people, the results also were dramatic.

Before dieting, about 3 percent of the gut bacteria in the obese participants was Bacteroidetes. But after dieting, the now normal-sized people had much higher levels of Bacteroidetes — close to 15 percent, Gordon said.

«I think that gut bacteria affects body weight,» said Virginia Commonwealth University pathology professor Richard Atkinson, who wasn’t part of the research team and is president of Obetech Obesity Research Center in Richmond. «I don’t think there’s any doubt about that and they showed that.»

The growing field of research puts more importance in the trillions of microbes that live in our guts and elsewhere, crediting it with everything from generations of people getting taller to increases in diabetes and asthma.

People are born germ-free, but within days they have a gut blooming with microbes. The microbes come from first foods — either breast milk or formula — the exterior environment, and the way the babies are born, said Stanford University medicine and microbiology professor David Relman, who was not part of the study.

For decades, doctors have treated bacteria in a «warlike» manner, yet recent research shows that «most encounters we have with microbes are very beneficial,» Gordon said.

«Much of who we are and what we can do and can’t do as human beings is directly related to microbial inhabitants,» Relman said.


The National Institutes of Health said Wednesday it closed the studies in Kenya and Uganda early, when safety monitors took a look at initial results this week and spotted the protection

The National Institutes of Health said Wednesday it closed the studies in Kenya and Uganda early, when safety monitors took a look at initial results this week and spotted the protection. The studies’ uncircumcised men are being offered the chance to undergo the procedure.

The link between male circumcision and HIV prevention was noted as long ago as the late 1980s. The first major clinical trial, of 3,000 men in South Africa, found last year that circumcision cut the HIV risk by 60 percent.

Still, many AIDS specialists had been awaiting the NIH’s results as a final confirmation.

«Male circumcision can lower both an individual’s risk of infection, and hopefully the rate of HIV spread through the community,» said AIDS expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

But it is not perfect protection, Fauci stressed. Men who become circumcised must not quit using condoms nor take other risks — and circumcision offers no protection from HIV acquired through anal sex or injection drug use, he noted.

«It’s not a magic bullet, but a potentially important intervention,» agreed Dr. Kevin De Cock of the World Health Organization.

Male circumcision is common at birth in the United States. But in sub-Saharan Africa, home to more than half of the world’s almost 40 million HIV-infected people, 과천출장안마 there are large swaths of populations where male circumcision is rare.

The WHO plans an international meeting early next year to discuss the studies’ results and how to translate them into policies that promote safe male circumcision — done by trained health workers with sterile equipment — while teaching men that it will not make them invulnerable.

If male circumcision were widely adopted, officials predicted that could help to avert tens of thousands of HIV infections in coming years; Fauci cited one model from South Africa that suggested possibly up to 2 million infections could be averted over a decade.

«This is tremendous news, and it could help millions of men while in turn reducing the risk faced by millions of women,» said Paul Zeitz of the Global AIDS Alliance.

Why would male circumcision play a role? Cells in the foreskin of the penis are particularly susceptible to the HIV virus, Fauci explained. Also, the foreskin is more fragile than the tougher skin surrounding it, providing a surface that the virus could penetrate more easily.

Researchers enrolled 2,784 HIV-negative men in Kisumu, Kenya, and 4,996 HIV-negative men in Rakai, Uganda, into the studies. Some were circumcised; others were just monitored.

Over two years, 22 of the circumcised Kenyans became infected with HIV compared with 47 uncircumcised men, a 53 percent reduction. In Uganda, 22 circumcised men became infected vs. 43 of the uncircumcised, a 48 percent reduction.

The researchers are offering all of the studies’ uncircumcised men the chance to undergo the procedure, and 80 percent of the uncircumcised Ugandans already have agreed, said lead researcher Ronald Gray of Johns Hopkins University.

Side effects were rare, including some mostly mild infections that were easily treated. The rate of side effects was comparable to those seen in circumcised U.S. infants, said Robert Bailey of the University of Illinois at Chicago, who led the Kenyan trial.


It’s a match made in pop-star heaven

It’s a match made in pop-star heaven.

Zayn Malik of U.K. boy-band 아산출장안마 One Directionand Perrie Edwards from the British girl-group Little Mix are now engaged.

A representative from One Direction’s record label confirmed news of the engagement to People.

Malik and Edwards, both 20, each got their big break while auditioning on Simon Cowell’s «The X Factor.»

The couple was spotted Monday at the London premiereof a new documentary about Malik and his group-mates, «One Direction: This Is Us.» Edwards sparked speculation of a possible engagement while on the red carpet as she sported a three-stone diamond ring on her left hand.

Also at the premiere were thousands of screaming One Direction fans, many of them were seen crying as members of the popular boy-band made their way down the carpet.

Undoubtedly, some of those same fans are crying today over the word that one of their heartthrobs is officially off the market.

«One Direction: This Is Us» comes to U.S. theaters on Aug. 30.


Broadway star Julie Harris dies

Updated 8:56 PM ET

NEW YORK Julie Harris, one of Broadway’s most honored performers, whose roles ranged from the flamboyant Sally Bowles in «I Am a Camera» to the reclusive Emily Dickinson in «The Belle of Amherst,» died Saturday. She was 87.

Harris died at her West Chatham, Mass. home of congestive heart failure, actress and family friend Francesca James said.

Harris won a record five Tony Awards for best actress in a play, displaying a virtuosity that enabled her to portray an astonishing gallery of women during a theater career that spanned almost 60 years and included such plays as «The Member of the Wedding» (1950), «The Lark» (1955), «Forty Carats» (1968) and «The Last of Mrs. Lincoln» (1972).

She was honored again with a sixth Tony, a special lifetime achievement award in 2002. Only Angela Lansbury has neared her record, winning four Tonys in the best actress-musical category and one for best supporting actress in a play.

Harris had suffered a stroke in 2001 while she was in Chicago appearing in a production of Claudia Allen’s «Fossils.» She suffered another stroke in 2010, James said.

«I’m still in sort of a place of shock,» said James, who appeared in daytime soap operas «All My Children» and «One Life to Live.»

«She was, really, the greatest influence in my life,» said James, who had known Harris for about 50 years.

Television viewers knew Harris as the free-spirited Lilimae Clements on the prime-time soap opera «Knots Landing.» In the movies, she was James Dean’s romantic co-star in «East of Eden» (1955), and had rolls in such films as «Requiem for a Heavyweight» (1962), «The Haunting» (1963) and «Reflections in a Golden Eye» (1967).

Yet Harris’ biggest successes and most satisfying moments have been on stage. «The theater has been my church,» the actress once said. «I don’t hesitate to say that I found God in the theater.»

The 5-foot-4 Harris, blue-eyed with delicate features and reddish-gold hair, made her Broadway debut in 1945 in a short-lived play called «It’s a Gift.» Five years later, at the age of 24, Harris was cast as Frankie, a lonely 12-year-old tomboy on the brink of adolescence, in «The Member of the Wedding,» Carson McCullers’ stage version of her wistful novel.

The critics raved about Harris, with Brooks Atkinson in The New York Times calling her performance «extraordinary — vibrant, full of anguish and elation.»

«That play was really the beginning of everything big for me,» Harris had said.

The actress appeared in the 1952 film version, too, with her original Broadway co-stars, Ethel Waters and Brandon De Wilde, and received an Academy Award nomination.

Harris won her first Tony Award for 담양출장안마 playing Sally Bowles, the confirmed hedonist in «I Am a Camera,» adapted by John van Druten from Christopher Isherwood’s «Berlin Stories.» The play later became the stage and screen musical «Cabaret.» In her second Tony-winning performance, Harris played a much more spiritual character, Joan of Arc in Lillian Hellman’s adaptation of Jean Anouilh’s «The Lark.» The play had a six-month run, primarily because of the notices for Harris.

The actress was something of a critics’ darling, getting good reviews even when her plays were less-well received. These included such work as «Marathon `33,» «Ready When You Are, C.B.!» and even a musical, «Skyscraper,» adapted from an Elmer Rice play, «Dream Girl.»

Her third Tony came for her work in «Forty Carats,» a frothy French comedy about an older woman and a younger man. It was a big hit, running nearly two years.

Harris won her last two Tonys for playing historical figures — Mary Todd Lincoln in «The Last of Mrs. Lincoln» and poet Emily Dickinson in «The Belle of Amherst» by William Luce. The latter, a one-woman show, became something of an annuity for Harris, a play she would take around the country at various times in her career.

The actress liked to tour, even going out on the road in such plays as «Driving Miss Daisy» and «Lettice & Lovage» after they had been done in New York with other stars.

Harris’ last Broadway appearances were in revivals, playing the domineering mother in a Roundabout Theatre Company production of «The Glass Menagerie» (1994) and then «The Gin Game» with Charles Durning for the National Actors Theatre in 1997.

In 2005, she was one of five performers to receive Kennedy Center honors.

Harris was born on Dec. 2, 1925, in Grosse Pointe, Mich., the daughter of an investment banker. She grew up fascinated by movies, later saying she thought of herself as plain-looking and turned to acting as a way of becoming other persons.

She made her stage debut at the Grosse Pointe Country Day School in «The Hunchback of Notre Dame» at age 14. In the years that followed, she studied drama in finishing school, prep school, Yale University and the Actor’s Studio.

Before «Knots Landing,» Harris made numerous guest-starring television appearances on dramas and was a regular on two quickly canceled series — «Thicker Than Water» in 1973 and «The Family Holvak» in 1975.

Her Emmys were for performances in two «Hallmark Hall of Fame» presentations: «Little Moon of Alban» in 1958 and «Victoria Regina» in 1961.

Harris was married three times, to lawyer Jay I. Julian, stage manager Manning Gurian and writer William Erwin Carroll. She had one son, Peter Alston Gurian.

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