Those of us following microbiome science know that it is developing extremely fast with tremendous opportunity for innovation. When we were presented the opportunity to participate in the recent webcast titled ‘Advances in Microbiome Discovery, Diagnostics and Therapeutics’ hosted by Nature.com, we were thrilled to agree. In this webinar, DNA Genotek and a panel of experts discussed their perspectives on advances in microbiome discovery. This webinar is available in its entirety on-demand (here), but knowing how time-pressed we all are, we have provided a summary for you below.Read More
DNA Genotek's Microbiome Collection and Stabilization Blog
Digestive Disease Week 2018 (DDW2018) was another successful conference with over 450 sessions presented by invited speakers and abstract authors. The interest in how the microbiome could potentially impact digestive diseases grew even more this year as compared to past conferences, with more talks dedicated to the microbiome. Many of the talks were so popular they required overflow space in the hallways to accommodate all the interested audience members. You could feel the energy of new ideas being uncovered and knowledge being shared, and I felt privileged to be able to take part this year with a few of my fellow DNA Genotek colleagues.
With so many thought-provoking sessions to choose from, I certainly was not able to attend them all. With a particular interest in the gut microbiome, I wanted to share some of my highlights.Read More
With a growing number of research studies showing associations between the gut microbiome and disease, this is a burgeoning field with fundamental questions that still need to be understood. The gut microbiome is composed of the community of microorganisms that dwell in our intestinal system, and elucidating the significance of this rich and diverse ecosystem is of great importance to human health. Large-scale studies with the sheer statistical power and immense volumes of data able to show strong correlations and draw meaningful conclusions are needed in this booming area of discovery.Read More
There is so much that can be learned from studying the gut microbiome. The community of bacteria co-habiting with their human host share a curious symbiotic relationship, one that can have a significant affect on health. This is a complex relationship where the abundance and diversity of the microbiome can affect various aspects of human physiology, metabolism, immune response, and psychology. Conversely, many factors within the human host’s control can alter the microbial community, even causing extinction events, such as dietary changes, geographical location, lifestyle, or antibiotic use. When this delicate balance is shifted, this may result in consequences for the host’s health. Therefore, it is essential to characterize the human microbiome and understand what factors alter this complex, reciprocal relationship.Read More
DNA Genotek Inc. is pleased to announce that the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has selected DNA Genotek’s OMNIgene® family of microbiome collection devices to provide reliable self-collection of microbial samples for The Biobank for Microbiome Research in Massachusetts (BIOM-Mass). DNA Genotek will also provide customization, fulfillment and logistics services through its GenoFIND™ services offering.Read More
Evolution of sequencing technology
Since the human genome was sequenced and famously published in Nature and Science in 2001(1)(2), sequencing technology has experienced significant advancement. In 2005 several high- throughput approaches, collectively referred to as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), quickly became preferable for larger projects compared to the more traditional Sanger sequencing, a capillary electrophoresis-based method used widely for close to 40 years. NGS technology produces many very short overlapping reads simultaneously, using massively parallel sequencing technology, such that each section of DNA (or RNA) is sequenced multiple times for exceptionally high coverage. The introduction of NGS played a huge role in revolutionizing the genomics field by lowering the cost of genome sequencing and by providing results 100 times faster than the Sanger approach. In 2010, the emergence of Third-Generation Sequencing (TGS) - enabled sequencing from a single molecule of DNA, thus eliminating the need for amplification and reducing PCR-derived bias. TGS produces substantially longer reads at 10K-15K base pairs compared to 100-600 base pairs for NGS, resulting in increased quality of genome assemblies through higher consensus accuracy and more uniform sequence coverage. For perspective on the evolution of sequencing, the 13-year-long, $2.7-billion international project (Human Genome Project) that sequenced the first human genome back in 2001, today would take little more than a day and would cost around $1,500 using NGS.Read More
At the recent Digestive Disease Week (DDW) meeting in Chicago, the microbiome took center stage with over 40 sessions featuring intestinal (gut) microbiota. Over the course of the meeting, I attended numerous presentations that described associations between the gut microbiome and such clinical outcomes as response to medication, efficacy of fecal microbiome transplants and success of diet-based interventions.Read More
One of the most critical components of studying the microbiome is ensuring you have a profile that is representative of the microbial community present in the donor. The reality of microbiome research, and any research for that matter, is that a variety of factors can impact the quality of your sample and its microbial community and thus, the quality of your data. Assume for example, that the microbial profile resembles Diagram “A” when in the in vivo state. The goal is to minimize any potential source of variability so that your sample accurately reflects that of the in vivo state (Diagram B) rather than an “ex vivo” artefact (Diagram C). Think of it like this: you could take a “snapshot” of the microbial community at the time of collection, preserve it through the analysis and generate an accurate microbiome profile.Read More
Update: Since this interview with the Weizmann Institute, the results of the Personalized Nutrition Project have been published in the journal Cell: “Personalized Nutrition by Prediction of Glycemic Responses”.
We sat down with Adina Weinberger from the Weizmann Institute to discuss her research in the microbiome field and her experience with using the OMNIgene●GUT* collection and stabilization device. Adina and her team at Weizmann started a research project called the Personalized Nutrition Project (PNP). In this project the blood glucose levels of healthy individuals are monitored over the course of a week and a fecal sample is collected from each participant once during the week. To date they have tested ~800 people and their goal is to include 1000 participants. The team wants to understand the relationship between specific patterns of blood glucose levels and the microbiome of a given individual to determine if there are global rules or trends that emerge.Read More
In our previous blog post, we examined the importance of preserving the microbial profile of fecal samples for microbiome analysis. But how do we ensure the sample collection method is reliable enough to attain an excellent profile? And, what are the challenges to getting a reliable sample? Let’s have a look.Read More