SeqBiome ‘team’ up with APC Microbiome Ireland and Teagasc for a new review on the athlete microbiome

A new publication, led by SeqBiome’s Marcus O’Brien, entitled ‘The Athlete Gut Microbiome and its Relevance to Health and Performance: A Review’ was published today in the highly regarded peer review journal Sports Medicine. The review notes that multiple studies have shown a potential bidirectional relationship between exercise and the gut microbiome, with some studies demonstrating the possibility of influencing this relationship. Importantly, this could provide a useful route to influence athletic performance via microbiome manipulation, a valuable prospect for many elite athletes and their teams.

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Our leadership team on world’s elite science list

We are thrilled that both our CEO and CTO are now among the 35 Irish scientists on the Highly Cited Researchers list from Clarivate in 2022! This list features the researchers in the top 1% of the Web of Science citation index and recognises pioneers in their field whose citation records position them in the very highest strata of research influence and impact. 

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Meet our new COO Jim Collins

SeqBiome is delighted to expand the executive team with Dr Jim Collins as our new Chief Operating Officer! Jim has over 20 years of international experience in the development and scale-up of genome analysis technologies for genetic testing applications. Prior to joining SeqBiome, he led the development and deployment of sequencing-based tests with a focus on women’s health at Invitae, a genetic testing company based in San Francisco. Before that, Jim directed the development of technologies for non-invasive prenatal screening at Singular Bio (acquired by Invitae) and CellScape and platform technologies for genomic analysis at Complete Genomics, Affymetrix and Agilent. Jim holds BSc and PhD degrees in Microbiology from University College Cork.

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Nestle Research and SeqBiome provide new insights into the water kefir microbiota and its relationship with flavour

A joint publication by Nestle Research and SeqBiome has provided new insights into the relationship between the microbial community of water kefir and flavour. Yet another example of the relevance of the microbiome when developing new functional foods. Highlights include

  • A temporal characterization of a model water kefir using multi-omics approaches.
  • Revealing the high prevalence of Z. mobilis and discovery of two potential new Curvibacter species in the samples.
  • Identification of a unique chemical profile, dominated by gluconic acid.
  • Uncovering microbial contributors to water kefir flavours obtained through omics correlation.
  • And, ultimately, providing, important insights that will enable large scale water kefir production.
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Microbiome recovery after antibiotics is improved by probiotic strains

Our CEO and bioinformaticians have published a paper in Gut Microbes together with colleagues in Danone and APC Microbiome Ireland. The randomized, double-blinded, controlled clinical trial shows how the microbiome, perturbed by H. pylory eradication therapy, recovers faster after consuming a multi-strain fermented milk product (L. paracasei CNCM I-1518, L. paracasei CNCM I-3689, L. rhamnosus CNCM I-3690 + 4 yogurt strains). These findings will be important when developing microbiome-protective probiotics in the future.

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The increased importance of Machine Learning for microbiome research

With the growing size and complexity of microbiome datasets, Machine Learning has showed great promise in classification and prediction of states of health and disease. As an Editor of the special issue of ML and the microbiome, our CEO here describes some published cutting-edge research in the field. He is also the Chair of the EU COST Action ML4Microbiome which aims to standardise, optimise and disseminate the use of ML for microbiome research.

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Severe Covid-19 disease associated with bacterial DNA in blood

The SeqBiome team also contributed to a publication by Irish and Swiss researchers in the journal Allergy entitled “Higher levels of bacterial DNA in serum associate with severe and fatal COVID-19”. Among other things, the study provides additional evidence for a loss of epithelial barrier function in patients with severe COVID-19.

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Butyrate from the gut microbiome improves bone healing

More and more scientists are turning to SeqBiome for their microbiome analysis. SeqBiome has together with colleagues in AO Research Institute Davos, Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research, Cornell University, Hospital for Special Surgery and APC Microbiome Ireland, published a study on murine bone healing, inflammation and the microbiome in Mediators of Inflammation. The findings suggests that butyrate can regulate systemic inflammation and is important for healing bone fractures.

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Improving guidelines for microbiome research reporting

SeqBiome CTO, Paul Cotter, was part of an international approach, coordinated by the City University of New York and published in Nature Medicine, to establish the STORMS ‘Strengthening The Organization and Reporting of Microbiome Studies’ checklist. This checklist provides guidance for concise and complete reporting of microbiome studies that will facilitate manuscript preparation, peer review, and reader comprehension of publications and comparative analysis of published results.

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The gut microbiome may be able to reverse effects of ageing in brain

Both our CEO and CTO were involved in a gut-brain study published in the prestigious Nature Aging, led by the John Cryan Lab at APC Microbiome Ireland. By transplanting microbes from young into old animals it was possible to rejuvenate aspects of brain and immune function. This could be a potential game changer, as the microbiome could be harnessed to reverse age-related brain deterioration. There was also evidence of improved learning ability and cognitive function

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Further insights into food chain, food, animal and human microbiomes

The team of SeqBiome CTO, Prof Paul Cotter, have continued to be very active in recent months publishing multiple papers relating to food chain, food, animal and human microbiomes. This includes the monitoring of the microbiomes foods (here, here and here), food processing facilities, porcine, vaginal, and lung microbiomes, as well as the impact of diet on human gut microbiomes (here and here).  

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