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Friday, October 7, 2016


Human Microbiomes: A new study conducted at Harvard University School of Public Health researches shows that the microbial communities we carry inside our bodies and as well outside the bodies which known as the Human Microbiomes have the potential to identify an individuals, much like a fingerprint. Researchers demonstrated that personal microbiomes contain enough distinguishable biological features so unique to construct the outer phenotype of a person. The study, rigorously show that by identifying people using microbiome-recorded database is very feasible in near future. The research surprisingly indicate that those unique microbial inhabitants, could raise potential privacy concerns for any subject directed in human microbiome research projects.
"Linking a human DNA sample to a DNA Database has became a basic for forensic genetics, which is now a decades-old field. The Bioforensic has moved on, and in this study it shown that the same sort of linking is possible using DNA sequences of microbes that inhabiting inside and outside human body without touching human's DNA. "This technique has opened the door to harvest microbiome's DNA samples and develop special databases, which has the potential to expose the information of the host, for example infections, which are detectable from the microbiome sample itself," said Eric Franzosa, a leading research fellow in the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard Chan. Franzosa. The scientists used publicly available microbiome data produced through the Human Microbiome Project (HMP), which surveyed microbes from the stool, saliva, skin, and other body substances, the samples collected from 242 individuals over a month.

The researchers also adapted a classical computer science algorithm to combine stable and distinguishing sequence features from individuals' initial microbiome samples and place them into individual-specific "codes." They then compared the codes to microbiome samples collected from the same individuals' at follow-up visits. The results showed that the codes were unique among hundreds of individuals, and that a large fraction of individuals' microbial "fingerprints" remained stable over a one-year sampling period. The codes constructed from gut samples were particularly stable, with more than 80% of individuals identifiable up to a year after the sampling period.

The Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard Chan School offers an unparalleled environment to pursue research and education in statistical science while being at the forefront of efforts to benefit the health of populations worldwide, Advancing health science research, education, and practices can turn data into knowledge and address the greatest public health issues facing the 21st century.

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E.A.Nambili Samuel

Nambili is a profesional blog, a certificied thinker of Pan African Movement, a moderator of National DNA Databaseproject and prolific writer for a quite awhile, he ran online forum for discussion and he is an author of Biodefence Journal. His articles appeared in a number of online platforms and websites include African Prospective magazine. E.a Nambili born in Oshikango a small business town in northern part of Namibia.




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