A social network wants to sequence your gut microbiome. The non-profit programme MyMicrobes, is inviting people to have their gut bacteria sequenced for about €1,500. Acting as both, social network and DNA database, the website offers a place for people to share diet tips, stories and gastrointestinal woes with one another. In exchange, researchers hope to gather a wealth of data about the bacteria living in peoples guts.
The same team of researchers showed earlier this year that people fall into one of three groups, or enterotypes, when it comes to the genetics of their gut bacteria (Gut study divides people into three types).
So far, the team has found links between certain gut-specific genetic markers and obesity and other diseases. And they suspect that gut enterotypes might affect how people react to different drugs and diets.
The group has been careful not to make promises to project participants. The research is still in its infancy, and there is no proven link between enterotypes and disease remedies. But the researchers hope the project will provide a bounty of data while helping volunteers connect with one another. Participants will have access to their own data, but all public results will be anonymous.
What is your opinion? Are you ready to sequence your gut microbiome?