Bioinformatics for the Human Microbiome Project

University of California Davis, United States of America
PLoS Computational Biology (Impact Factor: 4.62). 11/2012; 8(11):e1002779. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002779
Source: PubMed


Microbes inhabit virtually all sites of the human body, yet we know very little about the role they play in our health. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in studying human-associated microbial communities, particularly since microbial dysbioses have now been implicated in a number of human diseases [1]–[3]. Dysbiosis, the disruption of the normal microbial community structure, however, is impossible to define without first establishing what “normal microbial community structure” means within the healthy human microbiome. Recent advances in sequencing technologies have made it feasible to perform large-scale studies of microbial communities, providing the tools necessary to begin to address this question [4], [5]. This led to the implementation of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) in 2007, an initiative funded by the National Institutes of Health Roadmap for Biomedical Research and constructed as a large, genome-scale community research project [6]. Any such project must plan for data analysis, computational methods development, and the public availability of tools and data; here, we provide an overview of the corresponding bioinformatics organization, history, and results from the HMP (Figure 1).

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Available from: Dirk Gevers, Dec 15, 2013
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