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All posts for the month October, 2014

Hello readers, I’m very encouraged- I’ve sent a short summary of findings based on sequence data from Project: Cancer-Fighting Gut Bacteria to Dr. Schiestl at UCLA, and he’s agreed that it’s worth publishing! There’s a lot of supporting data from the literature, and I’m planning some in silico (on computer) experiments to bolster the findings as well.

If I can arrange for support I’ll see about including a separate experiment I have planned which would look at systemic (body-wide) effects of bacteria like the Lactobacillus strain used in the project. I need to get permission to do this, since it would involve analysis of blood (my blood! I plan to volunteer as guinea pig) taken before and after ingestion of the Lactobacillus probiotic. It’s admittedly a kind of risky idea, but less so than the researcher who ingested the pathogenic bacterium Helicobacter pylori and photographed his stomach before and after to demonstrate that H. pylori is involved in gastric ulcers. I am not certain that, like the H. pylori study, this work will result in a Nobel prize, but it would certainly be novel and groundbreaking if it works and ties in with the results of Project: Cancer-Fighting Gut Bacteria the way I suspect it could.

My work is publishable whether or not this additional work is included, though, so stay tuned for updates!

[October 22, 2014: Dr. S. says I can use blood from a clinical trial planned in 2015- so I may not need to be a guinea pig after all! This will require serious funding to analyze samples from as many as 40 people, though, so I will have to figure out if I can write a small grant. Given the difficulty in getting funding for joint US-Canadian projects, it may be more difficult to find funding than to actually do the project! While I try to figure out this issue I’ll go ahead and write up what I have so far, since I don’t want the work to just sit around, and it will be a very nice paper.]

Hello readers! This past week was very busy for me, and I’m currently in the middle of writing a small grant for metatranscriptomics work on a project related to my paying job with the University of Guelph. However, I thought I would share this milestone with you: I received the results of my second major experiment, conducted at UCLA in the Schiestl laboratory! I’ve sent the raw data to others at the Schiestl lab as well, and plan to start the analysis as soon as I am able. This may take a bit of time as I am both trying to submit my grant proposal, and write up an important paper that’s rather overdue for submission. Once that paper is submitted I’ll have a bit more energy to spend time at home during evenings annotating the new data, and determining what it means.

I’m very pleased, though: a preliminary look at the summarized results tells me that at least two of my hypotheses, which I’ve shared with Dr. Schiestl and which I can’t disclose since I’ve signed a confidentiality agreement, are correct! Note: I have to get my interpretation reviewed by others, and I’ll try to publish if Dr. Schiestl agrees, so the work is peer-reviewed.

Project: Cancer-Fighting Gut Bacteria is, in my opinion, a success! There are additional experiments I would like to do and I am evaluating what options I have for funding them, as crowdfunding does not seem to work well for me- I simply don’t have a big enough platform to reach enough interested people in a short enough time frame.

Thanks to all who have donated so far, and I hope to continue with both reading, which helps me evaluate my hypotheses and form new ones, and the actual experiments in the Schiestl lab at UCLA on the cancer-fighting Lactobacillus strain isolated there. I’m optimistic that, for a few thousand more dollars, samples I’ve left behind at UCLA could be analyzed. This could yield enough data so that Dr. Schiestl and I can write an NIH R21 grant and get enough funding to include clinical studies. Please wish us luck! If my hunches continue to be correct, we may discover a new and potentially less toxic way to improve cancer therapies.