Crowdsourcing the microbiome: what's in your guts?


5 Responses to “Crowdsourcing the microbiome: what's in your guts?”

  1. noah django says:

    this is pretty interesting, I applaud the idea of not involving big pharma and being a citizen scientist.  not sure if it is seventy-dollars-interesting, though.  for me, anyway.  the cheap ones are sold out, but I suppose $70 is much cheaper than hiring a doctor to perform these analyses.  with the $80-and-up packages, you get a t-shirt to promote uBiome, which is cool if you like explaining to strangers on elevators that you put a q-tip up your butt because you want to know about what’s growing up there [shrugs].

  2. A cool project, but “Sequencing your microbiome” is a very misleading title. They’re only going to sequence specific short segments (16S)  of the bacterial genomes, which are kind of specific to bacterial “species” That’s nowhere close to sequencing the microbiome – a way more expensive proposition. 16S profiling is at best a census of the microbiome, which could be cool, but not really informative in terms of the functionality of the microbiome. 

    Bacteria swap genes like crazy, meaning the concept of species doesn’t really have much relevance for them. Bacteria with very similar 16S markers could be doing very different things, depending on which functional genes they have. Will we find some correlations with large sample sizes? Maybe. Is this going to be useful in the long run? Probably not.

    • Michele Lanan says:

      Part of the site was down when I looked. Can you tell me if they are using 454 pyrosequencing or Illumina sequencing?

  3. Salamalecs says:

    So they are reinventing somehow the Meta HIT program (, or did I miss something ?

Leave a Reply