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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01qv33rw757
Title: APPROACHING LARGE SCALE ISSUES WITH A MICROSCOPIC TOOLKIT: USING THE GUT MICROBIOTA TO MITIGATE METHANE EMISSION AND OBESITY
Authors: Adeogun, Mary
Advisors: Mahmoud, Adel
Department: Molecular Biology
Class Year: 2013
Abstract: This research explores the metabolic role of the gut microbiota in the global obesity crisis and rising threat of global warming. Enteric microbiota in the rumen emit methane as a by-product of metabolite degradation. Experiments – primarily on mice – have lead researchers to believe that the gut microbiota ratio influences fat production and absorption in human hosts. Several biotechnological mitigation strategies have been proposed to address these issues from the microbiological perspective. There are gaps in the available knowledge that prevent a complete understanding of these strategies. This research analyzes these strategies in the biological context, focusing on how each strategy directly affects the host’s metabolic processes. This analysis is supplemented with an assessment of the mitigating potential of these strategies, given a variety of other factors such as economics, environment, health, motivation, etc. The findings reveal that all mitigation strategies are complicated by the biological nuances of the microbial-host relationship: thermodynamics, energy requirements, and immunity, side effects, nutrition, and the enduring and resistant nature of the gut microbe community. Nonetheless, the potential for these strategies is promising. Methane mitigating tactics stand to make methane release by enteric fermentation a small emitter of greenhouse gases, in stark contrast to its present state as a large emitter. Obesity mitigating tactics, if undertaken with consistent physical activity and improved dieting habits, facilitate weight loss and improved metabolic syndrome conditions. To take advantage of all the potential that these strategies have to offer, it’s crucial that future research focuses on better grasping the host microbial relationship, classifying enteric microbiota strains, and elucidating microbial mechanisms.
Extent: 94 pages
URI: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01qv33rw757
Access Restrictions: Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Molecular Biology, 1954-2016

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