Here are some highlights from June’s PLOS Computational Biology
Inference of Network Dynamics and Metabolic Interactions in the Gut Microbiome
The community of bacteria that live in our intestines (called the “gut microbiome”) is important to normal intestinal function, and the destruction of this community has a causative role in diseases including obesity, diabetes, and even neurological disorders. Reka Albert and colleagues use a mathematical model to identify how the normal bacterial community interacts and how this community changes with antibiotic treatment and C. difficile infection.
A Computational, Tissue-Realistic Model of Pressure Ulcer Formation in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury
People with spinal cord injury are predisposed to pressure ulcers. These ulcers remain a significant burden in cost of care and quality of life, despite improved mechanistic understanding and advanced interventions. Yoram Vodovotz and colleagues create a virtual pressure ulcer as a platform to test therapies and determine the mechanisms most correlated with unfavourable outcomes. Their analysis reveals that inflammation is an important determinant of ulcer severity and overall tissue damage.
Modeling the Impact of White-Plague Coral Disease in Climate Change Scenarios
Coral reefs are deteriorating at alarming rates, with coral disease outbreaks increasing in prevalence and in special distribution. Anomalously high ocean temperatures are thought to significantly contribute to this problem. Yael Artzy-Randrup and colleagues have collected a unique dataset of a White Plague Disease (WPD) outbreak from the coral reef of Eilat (Israel, Red Sea). By fitting a novel epidemiological model to the data, they characterize the dynamics of WPD, and study the possible effects of future increasing sea-surface temperatures on disease dynamics.