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View Full Version : Test your microbiome with µBiome



Maciamo
08-01-14, 17:20
Less than two months ago, it was reported (e.g. here (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=strange-but-true-humans-carry-more-bacterial-cells-than-human-ones) and here (https://www.sciencenews.org/article/year-review-your-body-mostly-microbes)) that 90% of the cells in our body were actually microbes, and only 10% were our human cells made by our DNA. Microbes affect our whole existence. We couldn't survive without them. They help us digest food, fight other microbes, and apparently are even essential for growth, brain maturation and reproduction. There are good and bad bacteria. Some bacteria can make us fat, cause ulcers, or give us irritable bowel syndrome. Conversely, it has been found recently that reduced diversity in gut bacteria can be the cause of autism (http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/study-kids-autism-have-fewer-kinds-gut-bacteria). Biologists have described the findings using the term 'ecosystem' to refer to animal bodies.

Knowing one's microbiome might be just as important as knowing one's genome in determining various health risks. This is exactly what a new start-up company based in San Francisco (where else ?) and named µBiome (http://ubiome.com/) (read "you-biome", not "microbiome") is offering for a reasonable 89$. They will tests bacteria in your saliva and stools and give you a report of the various types of bacteria found in your microbiome.

As the company just started and little is known about the role of most bacteria in our body, it is too early to get medical advice out of the test. But with time, as more people are tested and compare their results and medical conditions, we will be able to identify the likely culprits for all sorts of undesirable conditions.