4th Annual Translational Microbiome Conference: Day One Summary

The Microbiome Insights team is pleased to be exhibiting at the 4th Annual Translational Microbiome Conference in Boston! The first day of the main program was filled with talks that covered an excellent breadth of topics having to do with the microbiome field. Beyond sequencing A highlight of the morning was a lecture by Peter…

New tools could mean profound changes ahead in medicine, says Canadian Medical Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Brett Finlay

Six exceptional individuals have been inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2018 — and one of them is Microbiome Insights’ co-founder Dr. B. Brett Finlay, University of British Columbia Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Medicine, and Peter Wall Distinguished Professor at the Michael Smith Laboratories. The honour…

What can metagenomics do for you?

Microbiome data is leading to innovative solutions in diverse industries, from human and animal health to agriculture and the built environment. Next-generation sequencing has allowed researchers new insights into the microbial world with high levels of resolution—that is, they can precisely identify many of the bacteria and other microorganisms present. Not only that, but these…

How microbiome science is leading to human nutritional innovations

We all know food plays a critical role in health, but can anyone really answer why or how it is so important? Scientists have made numerous links between particular foods and health outcomes over the past few decades, enabling dietitians and other professionals to give guidance, with some level of certainty, toward dietary choices that…

Banff Keystone Symposia on Gut Microbiota: Day Three Summary

Wednesday was the third day of the joint Keystone Symposia in Banff, Canada: (1) “Manipulation of the Gut Microbiota for Metabolic Health” and (2) “Microbiome, Host Resistance and Disease”, and the great talks kept on coming! One track opened the day with a group of lectures on nutrition and gut microbiota. Jens Walter (a local,…

Banff Keystone Symposia on Gut Microbiota: Day Two Summary

March 6, 2018 marked the second day of the joint Keystone Symposia in Banff, Canada: (1) “Manipulation of the Gut Microbiota for Metabolic Health” and (2) “Microbiome, Host Resistance and Disease”. Morning sessions were split into two tracks. The first track covered microbiota and metabolic disorders, with two initial talks by François Leulier (Institut de…

Banff Keystone Symposia on Gut Microbiota: Day One Summary

Gut microbiota researchers from across the globe gathered in Banff, Canada for two joint conferences: (1) “Manipulation of the Gut Microbiota for Metabolic Health” and (2) “Microbiome, Host Resistance and Disease”. On day one of the conference—March 5, 2018—all sessions were held concurrently. For several human diseases, observed differences in gut microbiota composition between disease…

Four important areas for harnessing the microbiome in agriculture

Microorganisms form the foundation of every ecosystem on Earth, coexisting and interacting with a variety of host organisms. Of interest in the agricultural field are the plant microbiome and the soil microbiome, and how the two interact with one another. Microbes are associated with every plant tissue: they are found in the stems, leaves, and…

How to Design a Skin Microbiome Study, Part II: Amplicon Sequencing

In this post, the second of a 2-part series on skin microbiome research, we will discuss technical issues surrounding sequencing of human skin microbes. Read the first blog post here. At this point, the microbial ecologist conducting a skin microbiome study has now collected all the skin samples she needs, and the DNA has been…

How to Design a Skin Microbiome Study, Part I: Sampling

In this post, the first of a 2-part series on skin microbiome research, we will discuss technical issues surrounding sampling of human skin microbes. Let’s say a researcher sets out to study bacteria on the human skin—the body’s largest organ, which is teeming with microbes from each domain of life, and viruses. The scientific question…

Microbiome Insights’ Year in Review: 2017 by the numbers

This year, 2017, will go down in Microbiome Insights history as the year the company hit its stride and established itself as a leader in the microbiome testing field. The challenging work our team has been doing since we were founded in 2015 clearly paid off—as evidenced by our expanding client list, our strong financial…

How close are microbiome-modulating therapies that target the brain? A quick overview of the evidence

Debate exists about how soon knowledge about the gut-brain axis will bear fruit. Yet the microbiome-gut-brain axis is a hot topic of scientific investigation and several companies around the globe are actively pursuing gut microbiome therapies that focus on brain-related conditions. Here’s a quick overview from our lab scientists on various areas of brain health…

From the human genome to the human microbiome: Toward clinical applications

Genetics versus Genomics In 1991 the Human Genome Project—a collaborative effort to map the whole human genome—was established. A 5-year plan was put in place addressing the initial framework for the efforts including reliable testing methods, validated protocols, and milestones along the way. This marked a different path from previous studies of genetics—that is, the…

Microbiome Research: Don’t Forget The Fungi

Microbial Interactions In Living Systems The emerging field of the microbiome is in pursuit of understanding the microbe-microbe and microbe-host interactions that occur in virtually all living systems. This includes interactions critical to plant and animal health. The fundamental question is: What role(s) do the microbes and their functions play in broader systems? Advancements in…