Bacteria seen under a  scanning microscope

Today & tomorrow – live webcast – Standards for Microbiome Measurements @NIST

Definitely worth checking this out. NIST is running a meeting on Standards for Microbiome Measurements

From the site:

This workshop will seek input on defining reference materials, reference data and reference methods for human microbiome community measurements. This workshop is sponsored by NIST and NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Human Microbiome Project.

Over the past 10 years, advances in ‘omic technologies have resulted in a meteoric rise in our ability to understand the constituents and functions of complex microbial communities (microbiomes); and the profound effect that these microbiomes have on their hosts and the environment. However, the interlab comparability of measurements on microbiomes is generally poor. Biases exist along every step of the measurement process, from sample collection, extraction techniques, measurement technology employed (next-generation sequencing, mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance), and, finally, to data analysis and interpretation. There is a need for the adoption of reference materials, reference data, and reference protocols in order to identify and eliminate measurement bias.

Link for live Webcast:

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Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. My lab is in the UC Davis Genome Center and I hold appointments in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine and the Department of Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences. My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis (see my lab site here which has more information on lab activities).  In addition to research, I am heavily involved in the Open Access publishing and Open Science movements.