Tools for Analysis of the Microbiome
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Over the past decade, it has become exceedingly clear that the microbiome is a critical factor in human health and disease and thus should be investigated to develop innovative treatment strategies. The field of metagenomics has come a long way in leveraging the advances of next-generation sequencing technologies resulting in the capability to identify and quantify all microorganisms present in human specimens. However, the field of metagenomics is still in its infancy, specifically in regard to the limitations in computational analysis, statistical assessments, standardization, and validation due to vast variability in the cohorts themselves, experimental design, and bioinformatic workflows. This review summarizes the methods, technologies, computational tools, and model systems for characterizing and studying the microbiome. We also discuss important considerations investigators must make when interrogating the involvement of the microbiome in health and disease in order to establish robust results and mechanistic insights before moving into therapeutic design and intervention.
author list (cited authors)
Galloway-Peña, J., & Hanson, B.