Microbiome 101

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Through the advancement of next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, microbiome research has become an important part of understanding human, animal, and environmental health. Insights into taxonomy, diversity, and encoded gene functions can be derived from genetic exploration of the microbiome, and variations in these elements have now been observed in many human pathophysiological conditions.

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This paper provides an introduction to the microbiome and the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) and explores:

  • The impact to human, animal, and environmental health/disease
  • The steps required to perform a microbiome study
  • How to characterize the microbiome and achieve culture-independent analyses
  • How each step of a microbiome study can affect results
  • The importance of a customized approach, sequencing depth, and delivery of high quality data to infer metabolic potential for  targeted hypothesis generation

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