Think Bacteria Is Bad? Well You're Covered In It
If you've ever tried a Paleo diet, or taken a course of antibiotics after a nasty encounter with Bolivian water, you may be curious as to what microbes live in your body, or lived until you killed them with antibiotics.
Today the founder of uBiome, a startup that allows you to discover your microbiome, was named as the leader of one of Indigogo's hottest campaigns led by women. Jessica Richman raised $351,193 back in November for her world first citizen research campaign to sequence the human microbiome, triple her initial goal.
So what is your microbiome exactly? It's the collection of trillions of bacteria that live on you and inside of you, a balanced ecosystem that keeps potential pathogens in check and regulates your immune system.
Studies have linked the microbiome to human mood and behavior, as well as many gut disorders, eczema, and chronic sinusitis.
I gave up meat for 5 years, and I've noticed that when I try to eat it now, I can't digest it properly. Since microbes help us to digest food and synthesize vitamins, maybe my microbiome is lacking key elements to digest meat properly.
By using a uBiome kit, you can understand how your microbiome compares to cutting-edge scientific research, see what's happening internally when you are sick, or trying an intervention, or just find out about other people with a similar microbiome to you.
The process is painless - you swipe a cotton swab across the area you want to sequence, either your mouth, nose, genitals, skin or gut, using the kit from uBiome. You also need to fill in a survey. And be patient. You might be waiting months for them to sequence your data and represent it in an engaging and useful format.
I'm super pumped about the possibilities this opens up. A fan of understanding what foods I'm allergic to, with uBiome I will be able to take swabs at 5 distinct time points to see how foods interfere and interact with my microbiome, as well as see what other people similar to me have already discovered about their intolerances.
So far 3,000 people have signed up to get tested, and about a third have sent back samples to be included in the project. It's just $89 to get your microbiome sequenced, and you can do so here.