Gut Microbiota

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This assignment asks you to understand and interpret the findings of a recent scientific review.
This is a challenging task and I hope that you will work together to understand the paper and
answer the questions below. However, it is important that all questions be answered in your own
words. Use the following sources to help you answer the questions below. The first source is the
scientific study upon which most of the questions are based.
1. Schroeder, Bjoern O., and Fredrik Backhed. 2016. Signals from the gut microbiota to distant
organs in physiology and disease. Nature Medicine. 22(10):1079-1089.
2. Course Lectures
3. Widmaier, Eric P., Raff, Hershel,Strang, Kevin T. Vander’s Human Physiology: The
Mechanisms Of Body Function. Boston : McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2008. Print.
4. Online sources such as Wikipedia can be helpful for things like definitions. If you use an
source other than those listed above, such as wikipedia, please cite it in a format that makes
it clear where you obtained the information.
Question 1 (2 points each, 22 points total)
Define each of the following:
A. gut microbiota:
B. microbial metabolite:
C. intestinal lumen:
D. paracellular diffusion:
E. transcellular transport:
F. white adipose tissue (WAT):
G. GPR41 and GPR42:
H. gluconeogenesis:
I. farnesoid X receptor (FXR):
J. foam cells:
K. UCP1:
Question 2 (8 points)
A. What are SCFAs and how they produced? (3 points)
B. Explain how SCFAs interact with GPR41 and what the effects of this are and could be. (5
Question 3 (3 points)
A. How do the mitochondria of brown adipose tissue (BAT) cells differ from those of white
adipose tissue (WAT) cells and what is the functional result of this difference? (3 points)
Question 4 (10 points)
A. What is DMB? How does it affect the gut microbiota? (3 points)
B. What is atherosclerosis? (2 points)
C. What is the link between DMB and atherosclerosis? (5 points)
Question 5 (7 points)
A. What are antibiotics? (2 points)
B. The authors hypothesize that gut microbiota may contribute to autism spectrum disorder
(ASD). Explain how the observation that “children with autistic behavior had more frequent
ear infections and a history of higher antibiotic courses than typically developing children”
supports this hypothesis. (5 points)
Question 6 (5 points)
Based on this review, would you say the gut microbiota is good or bad for human health? Why?

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