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Firmicutes

Firmicutes help us to digest fat that our bodies need for energy and are among the most common microbes in our gut.

Although an oversupply of Firmicutes has been linked to a higher risk of obesity, historically these bacteria helped early Europeans survive harsh winters with barely a wooly mammoth in sight.

Now that we inhabit less challenging environments, an imbalance of too many Firmicutes in relation to another common gut microbe, Bacteroidetes, may be associated with obesity. However, having more Firmicutes than Bacteroidetes in the vagina is correlated with decreased risk of bacterial vaginosis. Some well-known Firmicutes are the pathogens behind diseases such as botulism and anthrax, but the vast majority are both completely harmless and necessary for normal digestion. Outside the microbiome, this diverse subgroup of bacteria is involved in processes ranging from fermentation of beer and wine, breakdown of milk into yogurt, and even toxic waste clean-up (called “bioremediation”).

References 

1. http://www.sciencecodex.com/geographic_variation_of_human_gut_microbes_tied_to_obesity-127955 

2. http://www.newmicrobiologica.org/PUB/allegati_pdf/2013/3/229.pdf


Welcome to uBiome!

We are the world’s first effort to map the human microbiome with citizen science. Our sequencing service provides information and tools for you to explore the populations of bacteria that live on and inside your body.

What We Do

Based on research from the NIH Human Microbiome Project, we've perfected the technology to perform large-scale microbiome studies. The knowledge we'll gain may (one day) empower people to live healthier and accelerate our understanding of the world around us. For the individual, we leverage this technology to help you better understand your own microbiome. Here's what you can learn:

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DISCOVER WHAT’S LIVING INSIDE YOU

An estimated 500 - 1,000 species of bacteria live in the human gut. Get the breakdown of what yours are down to the genus level.

Result

HOW IS YOUR GUT FUNCTIONING?

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If you’re thinking of trying something new – a new diet, probiotics, or anything else – get a “before” picture of your microbiome to compare with your “after”, and see what has changed.

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Find out how you're different. Is your microbiome more like a vegan's or a heavy drinker's? Are your bacteria more or less diverse than other people of your gender? See how you measure up.

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We give you the data, what will you do with it? Team up with uBiome to research the microbiome, and discover something new.

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FUTURE IMPLICATIONS

Every day, we are learning more about the human microbiome, and we hope to have many discoveries to share as we go. It’s a vast new frontier of scientific research. Thank you for being part of it with us!

What Happens Next

Kit Sample

After ordering, we will send your kit straight to you! Collect your samples with a quick swab of the site (or sites), and mail it back to us in the provided prepaid envelope.

Your samples will travel to our office in San Francisco, where theyíll be run through our state-of-the-art DNA sequencing lab. Expect to get your results back 4-6 weeks after we receive your sample.

App

You will then receive access to a personal dashboard (app.ubiome.com) which breaks down the types and functions of bacteria found in your sample.

Here is where you can see your diversity score as well as learn, explore, and compare everything related to your bacteria.