Human microbiome primer this Thursday March 17th

On the heels of the 2011 International Human Microbiome Congress, I’ll give an update about some of the tools and techniques available for the study of the human microbiome as well as my favourite talks and some of the pitfalls and cautionary tales from the field. Join me Thursday March 17th at 3:30 pm in MDCL 2233 (#52 on map). A short list of highlights:

our own Mike Surette – the diversity and cultivability of organisms from the CF airway

Martin Blaser – our disapearing microbiota

Eric Alm – horizontal gene transfer is higher the smaller the niche except for antibiotic resistance genes which are selected for across the entire body

Dusko Ehrlich – association of bacteria to chronic disease revealed by the MetaHIT consortium

Owen White –  data and analysis are moving to the cloud

Paul Spicer – working with indigenous communities

Mark Sagoff – with a comment that the human microbiome should be considered as the best studied model system for community ecology

Elhanan Borenstein – reverse ecology or correlation by co-occurrence

Bruce Birren – abundant sequences are shared across people, rare are not and variation due to different sequencing protocols

Claire Fraser-Liggett – controlling for genetic and lifestyle variations in the human microbiome by studying the Amish. Microbiome trends related to obesity not seen

And check out the pages on tools and references that will be updated frequently with valuable resources. If you’d like to contribute please contact Matt or I as we’re always looking for input.

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About Jennifer Stearns

Farncombe Family Chair in Microbial Ecology and Bioinformatics and Assistant Professor at McMaster University
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