Scientists in global project to create world's largest human microbiome database

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Getty | metamorworks
Getty | metamorworks

Related tags microbiome

Scientists from around the world are joining forces for the “Million Microbiome of Humans Project” (MMHP) in an aim to build the world’s largest database of the human microbiome.

The project was officially launched at the 14th International Conference on Genomics (ICG-14) in Shenzhen, China at the end of October.

Scientists from China, Sweden, Denmark, France, Latvia and other countries will work to sequence and analyse one million microbial samples from intestines, mouth, skin, reproductive tract and other organs in the next three to five years to draw a microbiome map of the human body.

The project will rely on MGI’s (Mouse Genome Informatics) DNBSEQ ​microbial genome sequencing technology to draw human microbial maps of different populations and health conditions and establish a baseline of microecology research at the large-scale population level, in order to promote the research of cutting-edge translational medicine in the field of human microbiome.

International scientific leaders gathered in Shenzhen Oct. 26 to launch the project which was initiated by the Karolinska Institutet of Sweden, Shanghai National Clinical Research Center for Metabolic Diseases in China; the University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Technical University of Denmark; MetaGenoPolis at the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), France; the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre; and Shenzhen BGI Research.

Dr. Liu Ruixin of the Shanghai National Clinical Research Center for Metabolic Diseases, said, “By studying the changes in the human microbiome between the normal and pathological states, before and after treatment in larger metagenomics datasets, and analyzing its effects on human metabolism and health, in the future we will provide more possibilities for new therapies in many fields such as metabolic diseases, cancer, reproductive health and newborn health.”

Professor Lars Engstrand, director of the Centre for Translational Microbiome Research (CTMR) of the Karolinska Institutet and one of the lead principal investigators of the program, added: “The Million Microbiome of Humans Project plans to complete a human microbiome of a million-sample-sized map, which will lay a solid data foundation for current micro-ecological research.”

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The rapidly evolving universe of probiotics, prebiotics and the microbiome will be discussed in-depth at the upcoming Probiota 2020​​ in Dublin on February 10-12.

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BGI Research, scientific research institution of metagenomic research, will provide corresponding research platforms and analytical resources for 200,000 of the samples in the project.

So far, relying on MGI’s sequencing technology and platform, the project's partners have completed the first batch of 10,000 samples of metagenomic sequencing, laying a solid foundation for the subsequent mapping of human microbiome maps of 100,000 and 1 million samples.

The MMHP welcomes further cooperation and can be contacted at​.

Source: MGI

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