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When an illness is not just in your head

By Caroline Huber

It is becoming increasingly clear that at least some medical conditions previously ascribed only to genetic and biochemical changes in the brain, including neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders, are linked to alterations in the gut microbiome. Metagenomic research is underway using next-gen sequencing (NGS) and microarrays to characterize the healthy gut microbiome and to identify and quantify aberrations in the types and levels of microbes inhabiting the intestines of patient populations at various stages of disease.

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Synthetic biology has real-world applications

By Beatrice Marg-Haufe

Research and technology development focused on synthetic biology (synbio) and systems biology are expanding, as are its real-world applications. Even as more traditional synbio approaches, which involve engineering microbes to produce novel drugs or chemicals and creating entirely new microorganisms, continue to advance, synbio innovations are driving the technology into advanced biofuels, biosensors, diagnostics, and other promising application areas.

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Metagenomics - coming soon to a city near you

By Caroline Huber

Urban planning, urban warfare, urban decay..., and next up, urban metagenomics. If you had any doubt that we are living in the genomics era, consider this: On June 21st, the International MetaSUB Consortium began collecting and mapping the genomes and epigenomes of microbial samples from 54 cities worldwide.

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Agrigenomics: Tools for plant and animal breeding, fish and fowl

By Caroline Huber

The term genomics might at first lead you to think of the human genome and the new micro-industry subsectors it has spawned, from prenatal genetic screening for heritable diseases (and one day perhaps to select for "desirable" traits) to companion diagnostics for personalized medicine, and nutraceuticals targeted to correct imbalances in the gut microbiome.Those same types of genomic applications and many, many more can translate directly to the plant and animal world, in which agrigenomic technology is transforming traditional approaches to breeding of commercial species and monitoring and protection of wild populations.

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Metagenomics may provide answers to irritable bowels, asthma attacks and body odor

By Caroline Huber

The "first" genomics era began with the landmark Human Genome Project, which launched in 1990 and was completed in 2003, leading to the sequencing of the 20,000-25,000 human genes. It gave birth to an omics revolution and, by necessity, a series of increasingly sophisticated technologies and techniques for performing shotgun and whole genome sequencing with greater accuracy and efficiency.

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Next generation sequencing. Knowledge is power

Scientists around the world have made great strides in genetic testing. But when it comes to realizing the benefits across a wide range of medical specialties access to information is key.

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