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    ABSTRACT: Body fluids such as urine potentially contain a wealth of information pertaining to age, sex, social and reproductive status, physiologic state, and genotype of the donor. To explore whether urine could encode information regarding environment, physiology, and development, we compared the volatile compositions of mouse urine using solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPME-GC/MS). Specifically, we identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in individual urine samples taken from inbred C57BL/6J-H-2(b) mice under several experimental conditions-maturation state, diet, stress, and diurnal rhythms, designed to mimic natural variations. Approximately 1000 peaks (i.e., variables) were identified per comparison and of these many were identified as potential differential biomarkers. Consistent with previous findings, we found groups of compounds that vary significantly and consistently rather than a single unique compound to provide a robust signature. We identified over 49 new predictive compounds, in addition to identifying several published compounds, for maturation state, diet, stress, and time-of-day. We found a considerable degree of overlap in the chemicals identified as (potential) biomarkers for each comparison. Chemometric methods indicate that the strong group-related patterns in VOCs provide sufficient information to identify several parameters of natural variations in this strain of mice including their maturation state, stress level, and diet.
    Chemical Senses 04/2010; 35(6):459-71. · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Odors emitted by human skin are of great interest to biologists in many fields; applications range from forensic studies to diagnostic tools, the design of perfumes and deodorants, and the ecology of blood-sucking insect vectors of human disease. Numerous studies have investigated the chemical composition of skin odors, and various sampling methods have been used for this purpose. The literature shows that the chemical profile of skin volatiles varies greatly among studies, and the use of different sampling procedures is probably responsible for some of these variations. To our knowledge, this is the first review focused on human skin volatile compounds. We detail the different sampling techniques, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which have been used for the collection of skin odors from different parts of the human body. We present the main skin volatile compounds found in these studies, with particular emphasis on the most frequently studied body regions, axillae, hands, and feet. We propose future directions for promising experimental studies on odors from human skin, particularly in relation to the chemical ecology of blood-sucking insects.
    Journal of Chemical Ecology 04/2013; · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The African malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto continues to play an important role in malaria transmission, which is aggravated by its high degree of anthropophily, making it among the foremost vectors of this disease. In the current study we set out to unravel the strong association between this mosquito species and human beings, as it is determined by odorant cues derived from the human skin. Microbial communities on the skin play key roles in the production of human body odour. We demonstrate that the composition of the skin microbiota affects the degree of attractiveness of human beings to this mosquito species. Bacterial plate counts and 16S rRNA sequencing revealed that individuals that are highly attractive to An. gambiae s.s. have a significantly higher abundance, but lower diversity of bacteria on their skin than individuals that are poorly attractive. Bacterial genera that are correlated with the relative degree of attractiveness to mosquitoes were identified. The discovery of the connection between skin microbial populations and attractiveness to mosquitoes may lead to the development of new mosquito attractants and personalized methods for protection against vectors of malaria and other infectious diseases.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(12):e28991. · 3.73 Impact Factor

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May 21, 2014