In the news

Common But Just Uncovered Virus in Our Gut

Using a unique sampling approach researchers uncovered a novel bacteriophage in fecal metagenomes. It was found in some 75 percent of published metagenomes, likely infects the Bacteroides and suspectedly is very important in regulating their number.

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Bringing microbial sequencing to hospitals

"Yet pathogen sequencing represents a quick win. Bench-top sequencers that cost around US$125,000 can complete several bacterial genomes in a day, at a cost of around $150 per sample — about twice as much as running some commercial PCR tests."

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Market the microbiom

Pfizer, Janssen, Johnson & Johnson and other large pharmaceutical companies eye the medical potential of manipulating interactions between humans and the bacteria that live in or on the body.

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Oh, dirty money

Researchers have sequenced all the DNA found on about 80 dollar bills from a Manhattan bank. They identified 3,000 types of bacteria in all — though 20% of the non-human DNA they found haven't yet been cataloged in genetic data banks.

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What to watch: Emerging technologies

"...therapeutics based on the human microbiome look promising as the vast number of microbes that live in the human gut are now seen to be essential in maintaining health."

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New Antibiotic from a Detrimental Fungus

"The causal agent of ash dieback may soon be providing us with beneficial substances."

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The Surprising Reason Americans Might Be Obese, Anxious and Depressed

"...the theory that certain medical conditions, especially autoimmune ones, may be caused by a changing or declining bacterial environment in the human gut is gaining momentum..."

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Resources

A human gut microbial gene catalogue established by metagenomic sequencing

This article describes the metagenomic sequencing of 124 samples to discover the human gut microbiome. As the largest metagenomic study up to now, it generated 576.7Gb of sequence data, and catalogued the microbial genes commonly found in the human gut.

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The science of metagenomics: Revealing the Secrets of Our Microbial Planet

This OpenBook explains the biological background of microbial communities, promises of metagenomics, and the challenges of metagenomic data management and analysis.

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Assembling large, complex environmental metagenomes

"We apply two pre-assembly filtering approaches, digital normalization and partitioning, to make large metagenome assemblies more computationaly tractable. Using a human gut mock community dataset, we demonstrate that these methods result in assemblies ne

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A Primer on Metagenomics

An excellent overview of the methods and applications of metagenomics in PLOS Computational Biology

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