(Yeah, that's a gross title.)
Two items of interest today:
- An essay in The Verge, published yesterday, about American facist states in literature. It's relevant to the Trumpism I posted about recently (and will post about again, eventually). While Trump is the worrisome candidate du jour the article makes no mention of Barry Goldwater's not-dissimilar 1964 campaign. Also relevant, though not specifically about America: Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. It holds up well.
- This mBio paper about fecal microbiome transplants and their viral components. Fecal transplants have been shown to have promise in treating colitis. They're intended to re-establish a healthy microbiome where there is only dysbiosis but a microbiome isn't just a bacterial culture. Depending on the microbiome it may have a rich phage population, too, and those phages get transferred along with everything else in a fecal transplant. That's what the results of this paper imply, at least. We still don't have a clear idea of what an average gut viriome looks like. We're a bit hampered by our limited understanding of phage diversity; all we know is that we've only begun to explore it.
Here's the full citation for that mBio paper:
Chehoud, C., Dryga, A., Hwang, Y., Nagy-Szakal, D., Hollister, E. B., Luna, R. A., … Bushman, F. D. (2016). Transfer of Viral Communities between Human Individuals during Fecal Microbiota Transplantation. mBio, 7(2), e00322–16. http://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00322-16.