New ASM Journal mSystems Inaugural Launch Today

Today marks the inaugural launch of mSystems, a new open access ASM journal on systems microbiology, founded by Dr. Jack Gilbert of Argonne National Laboratory and a Sloan-funded microbiome of the built environment researcher and collaborator to many readers of this blog. The mSystems Senior editorial board is comprised of a team of microbiome experts: Drs. Ileana Cristea, Pieter Dorrestein, Jonathan Eisen, Julie Huber, Janet Jansson, Rob Knight, Margaret McFall-Ngai, Katie Pollard, Jeroen Raes, and Liping Zhao. Today’s inaugural launch is made complete with three online articles and an editorial authored by Jack Gilbert. One of the three articles appearing in this inaugural issue-a description of the performance of new, modified bacterial and fungal marker gene primer constructs for use with the Earth Microbiome Project and the American Gut Project-is a highly anticipated piece of working coming from Dr. Rob Knight’s lab that was the subject of a blog post last October. The second article details the transcriptomic diversity of light harvesting complexes in 20 different photosynthetic bacteria, providing a detailed understanding of the regulation under different light conditions. The 3rd inaugural article details new software that will help scientists keep track of their data and metadata through the provision of unique identifying names and codes that are both computer and human readable.

Microbiome research is quickly advancing, and this new journal represents an exciting new platform for reporting the large amount of multi-omics work currently undertaken by the world’s leading microbiome researchers. “mSystems plays an important role in the microbiome field, publishing high-impact multidisciplinary work that is also technically sound, together with the methods needed to advance these studies broadly”, said Rob Knight, a Senior Editor at mSystems and Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation at UC San Diego. “We see this new journal as helping advance the field of microbiome science itself, as well as its transformative applications in areas ranging from medicine to forensics to the built environment to synthetic biology.”

A “key feature of mSystems is that it has adopted a fully open access license – CC-BY 4.0 – making sure that articles are freely and openly available and this has broad reach and utility,” says mSystems Senior Editor and UC Davis Professor Jonathan Eisen. mSystems founder Jack Gilbert adds “the ASM is the world’s oldest and largest single life sciences organization, and it is fitting that this establishment should launch this cutting edge platform for the dissemination of novel systems microbiology studies; we are honored and excited to serve the community in this way.”

I’m personally very excited to follow mSystems and I look forward to seeing a lot of great work in this new Journal in the coming months and years.

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Embriette Hyde

Embriette Hyde is a postdoctoral associate in Rob Knight's lab at UCSD.