Just wanted to let you know about an amazing project which is an extension of the Human Gut Microbiome, American Gut.
Let me back up a minute: The Human Gut MicroBiome was a project designed to map the genes of “all” the gut microbes in the human gut. It had a phenomenal start, but the sample was small and in relatively healthy individuals. We are getting a pretty good sense that changes in health may track closely with changes in gut flora. In order to get a better understanding of this story, the Human Food Project is organizing a study to sample as many people, from as many backgrounds as possible.
You can read all the details here. The email sign-up is near the bottom of the page.
If you do not live in the US don’t worry, we are nto ignoring your poop! I’ll let y’all know about future projects in other locations.
At the end of 2010 I was on a radio interview and was asked “What do you think is the most important area of health related research we will see in coming years?” I paused a moment and then said “Extensive mapping and study of the gut Endobiome.” The amount of understanding we will gain from this project and spin-off activities is staggering. We carry far more genetic material in the form of our gut microbes than in our person. How these critters affect our lives is akin to a buried treasure, albeit somewhat coprolite in nature! In all seriousness, this is a really important project. Lend a hand (or some poop!) if you can.