Bio Saga Headlines

Bio Saga

Friday, October 17, 2008

International Project Launched to Sequence Human Microbiome, Share Data

In Heidelberg, Germany, today researchers from eight countries and the European Commission announced the formation of a new research enterprise, the International Human Microbiome Consortium (IHMC), which will sequence the genomes of tens of thousands of microorganisms that live in and on the human body and that influence human health.

Initial funding of more than US$200 million is being provided by the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the European Commission (EC).

Jane Peterson, associate director of extramural research at the NHGRI, said international collaboration is very important in advancing science, and that “the sum is more than the parts.” Participants in the IHMC have agreed in principle to the free and open release of data and resources, and the coordination of research plans, as well as to sharing innovative developments, she reported. Data from microbiome research already being conducted by the NIH Human Microbiome Project and the EC Metagenomics of the Human Intestinal Tract (MetaHIT) project will contribute an initial set of microbial genomes to the IHMC. Because the field is so young – less than three years old – there is much to be gained by collaboration, Peterson said.

Christian Desaintes, from the Research Directorate of the European Commission, said the IHMC’s goal for five years hence is to be sequencing 1000 microbiome genomes from over 1000 individuals’ body parts. The parts in question are the skin, mouth, nasal passages, gastro-intestinal tract, and urogenital tract.

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Life Science and Informatics

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These are some interesting things that could be discussed in this blog page...

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