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Comment Re:Not news (Score 1) 193

True. But the thought was that every human would have a core microbime, at least in the gut. Even if there were variances between people, and within the same person over time. But it appears to be that there is no set of core species.

Actually, if you look at the Human Gut Microbiome Initiative, there are core set of species that seem to be very important. Bacteriodes thetaiotaomicron is a very big player in must everybody's gut.

The real thrust of the research is how the ratios between the different species is different for everyone. These ratios are measured by targeted 16s RNA reading (it's part of the mechanism that turns RNA into Amino acid chains, so essential to life). This data can infer species. But it has no real linkage to the actual function characteristics of a microbe, its just one gene.

But because of all the gene swapping (either by lateral transfer of phages moving random genes with their own replication mechanism) what is really going on in a particular cell may be quite different then previously catalogued members of that species.

Comment Re:the whole division of bacteria into species may (Score 4, Informative) 193

Something doesn't make sense:

There are ten times more bacterial cells in our body than our own cells. Most of them are located in our guts

That means that over 50% of 90% of our body mass in in our guts? Well, the researchers are Americans...

It's because microbial cells are much smaller then eukaryote cells. Imagine a bunch of basket balls surrounded by BBs.

By mass its probably about two pounds.

Submission + - PIPPER - New Alpha (

SF:kellrott writes: PIPPER stands for Python Integrated Parallel Pipeline EnviRonment. Think of it like OpenMP for Python, but it works on an MPI cluster. Imagine being about to run large parallel job on a cluster just by adding a few lines to a Python script. Most importantly, PIPPER is completely backwards compatible with regular Python. Writing a script for PIPPER doesn\'t lock you in, and you can use the exact same script on a machine without a PIPPER installation. Alpha a126 represents a large amount of debugging and optimization done to the PIPPER code base over the past few months. And while PIPPER is still in alpha, it has been well tested and already managed several hundreds of thousands of CPU hours on professional cluster installations.