Moheb Costandi, the science correspondent reports an interesting piece of news entitled, “Citizen microbiome” in the February issue [vo.31(2)] of Nature Biotechnology. This biotech start-up company has made it possible for common citizen to have their microbiome analyzed at an unbelievably low cost of only $69. This has been possible following the availability of the high-throughput DNA sequencing technology within the buying capacity of common man. If anyone so wishes, he/she may have multiple samples analyzed to list their own microbes and see how lifestyle changes alter their microbial composition.
It has been estimated that the number of bacteria that colonizes a human gut is 1000 billion (=trillion, 10 -12). The state of human health depends upon the composition of the microflora. In other words, the composition of microflora in an obese person will show a drastic change if he/she reduces body weight or vice versa. Similarly, the microflora composition of a person suffering from chronic digestive disorder will register a radical change following an improvement of his bowel complaint. Thus data on genome sequencing will pave the way for the drug designers to develop novel drugs that can replace existing ineffective medicines.