CMIT published a periodic online newsletter highlighting new and exciting studies, research initiatives, and events to help connect the microbiome research community.
In the year since the Covid-19 pandemic was declared, our research community—like each of our communities—has faced unprecedented challenges in work and daily life. And yet CMIT has not only persevered in advancing microbiome research, but shown great character by pitching in to respond to the pandemic, as well.
Don’t you, forget about the viruses
BY KATE JEFFREY
Viruses are the most abundant biological entities on earth, and recent estimates suggest more than 380 trillion of them (10 times the number of bacteria) inhabit us – seemingly without causing much harm at all. Given that the name virus was coined from the same Latin word meaning slimy liquid or poison, this new understanding of a commensal, possibly beneficial “virome” is immediately surprising to many.
Closing the global microbiome gap: OpenBiome’s program to accelerate the development of microbiome-based therapies for global health
BY MAJDI OSMAN & CAROLINE ZELLMER
Our understanding of the human microbiome is leading to the development of new therapies for seemingly intractable diseases such as C. difficile infection, inflammatory bowel diseases, obesity and even autism. However, there is a rapidly widening gap between high-income countries and low/middle income countries (LMICs) where the benefits of our growing understanding of the field could potentially save millions of lives per year.
Leave “Parachute Science” Behind When Jumping Into Global Microbiome Research
BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GLOBAL MICROBIOME CONSERVANCY
Awareness is growing, but still today researchers from high-income countries sometimes conduct research that relies on analyzing samples collected in low-income countries without affording any benefit to local scientists or community. This practice of “dropping in” on another country to take whatever is needed to further research, termed “parachute science”, can apply to any scientific field.
Moving Microbiome Research from the Bench to the Bedside: Challenges and Opportunities
BY ASHWIN N. ANANTHAKRISHNAN, MD, MPH
Nearly every month, we see studies linking alterations in the composition of the gut microbiome, crudely termed “dysbiosis”, with one disease or the other. The spectrum of diseases linked to such alterations range from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) to autism to obesity to depression…
We should share the data generated during clinical research, not just the key findings.
BY ERIC ALM
Participating in a clinical trial is a big step. Patients understand that new therapeutics can’t be developed without trials, but there’s no guarantee that the intervention being tested will be effective, safe, or even available when the trial is over…
Diversity matters… but maybe not in our guts
BY ERIC ALM
We seem to have collectively agreed that ‘more is better’ when it comes to microbiome diversity. However, there’s not much evidence that within the “normal” spectrum of microbiome diversity — i.e. what’s observed in healthy individuals — that having more diversity is better for you…