Discover your microbiome

Order a Microbiome Explorer™ kit to learn about your bacteria and join the thousands of citizen scientists who have had their microbiomes sequenced.

Gut Explorer

Sample one site: your gut!
The best kit for curious beginners.

From just your gut sample, you get a comprehensive breakdown of your microbiome, how it's functioning, and how it compares to others.

$89.00

$71.20

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Time Lapse Explorer

Sample three times: before, during and after a diet or lifestyle change.

Our most popular bundle goes a step further with multiple samples, to see how your microbiome changes over time.

$199.00

It's a 25% discount off the normal Gut Kit, and you get three timepoints for comparison.

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Five Site Explorer

Sample all five sites: your gut, mouth, nose, genitals, and skin.

Learn about all five microbiome sites.

$399.00

$319.20

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About uBiome Explorer

uBiome Explorer Kits gives you access to state-of-the-art tools to learn more about your microbiome. Using high-throughput DNA sequencing based on research from the NIH Human Microbiome Project, we've perfected the technology to perform large-scale microbiome studies.

Researchers and scientists are able to develop and execute their own independent studies with easy-to-use sampling kits interactive insights and comparisons tools using the world’s largest human microbiome database.

Looking for
actionable insights?

Need to uncover the potential bacteria
behind your leaky gut or other symptoms? Learn about SmartGut™, the first clinical microbiome test.

Learn more

How it works

Sample

Our sample kit contains everything you need to swab and submit your microbiome.

Whether for your mouth, ears, nose, gut, or genitals, your kit will allow you to learn more about your microbiome. You swipe the sample swab across the corresponding site and send the kit back to us.



Expect to get your results back 4-6 weeks after we receive your sample.

Sequence

We extract the bacterial DNA out of your sample. Then, we identify each of the bacteria that the DNA came from. It’s a little like dusting a scene for fingerprints.

We compare the "fingerprints" we find to 
our reference library, to determine which bacteria they came from. We then compile your results, making them easy 
to understand.

Explore

Using the interactive uBiome Explorer site, you can navigate your results using interactive graphs and charts which allow you to compare your results to those of other groups such as vegetarians, or to your past results.

Health and lifestyle answers you provide from the research survey enable us to show you correlations between other users, to existing peer-reviewed studies, and to your previous samples.

Explorer Sample Kit

Gut sample tube

Replacement sample tube

2 sterile swabs

Sample return bag

Return mailer

Nose sample tube

Mouth sample tube

Gut sample tube

Skin sample tube

Genital sample tube

Replacement sample tube

6 sterile swabs

Sample return bag

Return mailer

“uBiome is offering a never before available look into the billions of microbiota that affect the way your body functions. This kind of information will allow us to be healthier and happier in ways we never imagined.”

Ari Meisel

Author & Entrepreneur

uBiome Explorer kits are not for diagnostic purposes. Information provided by these Explorer Kits are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you want to address a symptom or learn more about health issues, you may be interested in our clinical SmartGut™ test.

Learn more about SmartGut™

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I contact you by telephone?

Though we can handle most issues promptly through email (support@ubiome.com), we understand that sometimes you just want to speak to a person. Not a problem! You can book a time to speak to us here.

How long can I store my Explorer kit?

You can keep your uBiome Explorer Collection Kit up to the date provided on the tube at room temperature, which is about one year. You can keep tubes containing samples up to a month at room temperature.

How do I register or activate my Explorer kit?

In accordance with our strict CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited laboratory standards, we cannot start processing your sample until you confirm your sample collection date, time, and SmartGut™ tube number. With your kit at hand, please enter this information at smartgut.ubiome.com to ensure that we can start processing your sample as soon we receive it.

What if my kit is missing items?

If your Explorer Kit is missing any item, please email support@ubiome.com and we’ll send you what you need as soon as possible.

In which countries are Explorer Kits available?

We ship uBiome Explorer kits to almost every country in the world
Our uBiome Explorer Kits can be shipped to almost every country in the world.

Our kits comply with all IATA regulations for exempt samples and sending and receiving your samples should not be a problem. You can return your sample via regular mail as it is shelf-stable for over a month. There is an additional $20 shipping charge for international (non-US) orders.

Can I sequence my child’s microbiome?

Yes, your children (including babies) can have their microbiome sequenced with parental permission.

For kids under 18, a parent or guardian will need to sign a consent form, confirming they would like us to process their child's sample. For children over 13, the child will also need to give their assent (non-binding approval) to make sure they understand what microbime sequencing involves. See the full consent forms at here.

How do I collect my sample?

All instructions for the kit you ordered are available online, once you activate your kit. Please go to app.ubiome.com and follow the instructions there.

You'll find out interesting tidbits like how long to swab for and what to do with your sample, before sending it back to us.

If you have questions, email support@ubiome.com.

Which tube should I use for my sample?

There are several types of kits, and the most popular is the Explorer Gut Kit. This kit includes a gut sample tube, a swab, inner and outer return envelopes, and a spare tube in case you make a mistake or want to add another site. The other sites include additional tubes and swabs. You probably did get everything you need, but in case you didn't or if you aren't sure, just send us an email at support@ubiome.com.

Will my gut sample smell?

Not at all. We need only a very small sample (just enough to tint the sterile swab), which you’ll immediately put into the sample tube (containing lysing solution), and then dispose of the used swab and close the tube.

When will I get my results?

We start sequencing samples as soon as we receive them, but it usually takes 4-6 weeks to process the samples and compile the results. Of course it's possible there could be delays due to unforeseen circumstances, so it's probably wise not to make any plans that depend on your results being available at a specific time.

What kind of results will I get with SmartGut™?

After your sample has been analyzed, you get to be an explorer and learn about the vast rainforest of bacteria in your body. Logging in to uBiome.com, you'll see detailed information on each of these bacteria - what their names are, how many of each kind there are, what their functions are in the body.

You may find yourself curious to compare your results with the aggregate results of everyone who's done the test, and with specific groups of people. Say you want to look at how your microbiome compares to vegans or smokers. You can do that!

How can you tell which microorganisms are in my Explorer sample?

We use 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) gene sequencing on an Illumina Next Generation Sequencer to find out which kinds of bacteria and other microorganisms are in your gut. Based on a ribosomal gene present in microbial DNA (16S), 16S rRNA gene sequencing enables us to classify microbes all the way down to the genus and/or species level while filtering out any genetic material from humans and other organisms.

This is the same sequencing method used in the majority of microbiome studies in this area, so it gives us the greatest ability to compare with other studies, making your data more relevant.

What if I’m having issues registering or activating my Explorer Collection Kit?

You might need to update your version of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. If you are still having issues, email support@ubiome.com and we will do our best to help.

What if I’ve damaged or contaminated my sample or sample tube?

Not to worry. Your kit includes a replacement sample tube and a second swab, just in case you need it. If you need additional replacement items, just email support@ubiome.com and we will send you what you need, or replace your kit, as soon as possible.

How can I contact you by telephone?

Email is actually the fastest way to get answers to your questions. Our expert support team (support@ubiome.com) will respond to your query within 24-48 hours.

Do you ship outside the United States?

Yes! We accept payment through major credit cards and will ship to almost every country in the world. Our kits comply with all IATA regulations for exempt samples and sending and receiving your samples should not be a problem. You can return your sample via regular mail as it is shelf-stable for over a month. There is an additional $20 shipping charge for international (non-US) orders.

When can I expect my kit to arrive?

Standard shipping on domestic orders will deliver your kit within 5-10 business days. For international orders, delivery can sometimes take several weeks. If you need your kit(s) more quickly, please make sure to select an expedited shipping option at checkout.

When will I get my results?

We start sequencing samples as soon as we receive them, but it usually takes 4-6 weeks to process the samples and compile the results. Of course it's possible there could be delays due to unforeseen circumstances, so it's probably wise not to make any plans that depend on your results being available at a specific time.

I am moving. How do I update my address?

Please send us an email at support@ubiome.com and we will update it for you!

How long will my kit last?

uBiome kits can be stored for up to one year at room temperatures before taking your samples. Once you've sampled, the tubes can survive comfortably at room temperature for a month. But it's best if you return your samples to us as promptly as possible.

Do I need to activate my kit?

Yes. We absolutely need you to activate your kit before sending us your samples. There is a questionnaire for each sample site which will greatly improve the value of the information we give you. Plus, we need you to electronically give your authorization before we can process your samples.

And also so we know who the kit belongs to! You can do this by going to app.ubiome.com and following the instructions there.

I am having a problem activating my kit.

If you have any problems with activation, please update your version of Chrome, Firefox or Safari to the latest version. If you have an up-to-date browser and are still having issues, the best thing to do is to contact us at support@ubiome.com. We can help you out if you are having difficulty, or we can troubleshoot on our end if something isn't working the way it should.

I can't find my sampling instructions!

All the instructions are on the website when you activate your kit. Just go to app.ubiome.com and go from there.

How many tubes should be in my kit?

There are several types of kits, and the most popular is the gut-only kit. This kit includes a gut sample vial, a swab, inner and outer return envelopes, and a spare tube in case you make a mistake or want to add another site. The other sites include additional tubes and swabs. You probably did get everything you need, but in case you didn't or if you aren't sure, just send us an email at support@ubiome.com.

I knocked over a tube/my dog chewed my swabs/I contaminated my sample!

Our kits come with a spare tube and swab, so any mistake can be remedied by using the spare included. If you should still need a replacement, just email at support@ubiome.com and we'll send you a replacement immediately.

How do I collect my sample?

All instructions for the kit you ordered are available online, once you activate your kit. Please go to app.ubiome.com and follow the instructions there. You'll find out interesting tidbits like how long to swab for and what to do with your sample, before sending it back to us. We also made a handy little video for you about sampling your skin microbiome. You can watch it here.

If you're having trouble locating the instructions, they've been transcribed in full below:

1. START

  • Sampling takes less than 3 min per site. Faster than a dividing bacteria!
  • We recommend you leave your kit on your bathroom counter so it's ready first thing in the morning.
  • Sample first thing in the morning, before you brush your teeth or eat breakfast.

2. SAMPLE

Open the tube you want to sample and the follow the site-specific instructions below:

GUT

  • Swab your used toilet paper to collect a tiny amount of poop.
  • Note - this probably way less than you think you need - just enough to change the color of the swab.

MOUTH

  • Vigorously rub the swab across the inside of each cheek for 30 seconds.
  • Note - do not touch your teeth or gums to the swab.

SKIN

  • Wet the swab with the PCR water included in your kit. (Do not use regular water.)
  • Swab along the lower half of the crease behind your ear for 1 minute.
  • Note - pull your ear forward with one hand and pull your hair out of the way if necessary.

NOSE

  • Wet the swab with the PCR water included in your kit. (Do not use regular water.)
  • Swab around the inside of each nostril at the depth of the cotton on the swab for 30 seconds each.

MALE GENITALS

  • Wet the swab with the PCR water included in your kit. (Do not use regular water.)
  • Swab in a circular motion around the base of the head of the penis for one minute (where the head of the penis intersects the shaft).
  • Note - if your penis is uncircumcised, pull back your foreskin first.

FEMALE GENITALS

  • Wet the swab with the PCR water included in your kit. (Do not use regular water.)
  • Swab the area just inside the vaginal opening, to the depth of the cotton on the swab for one minute.
  • Note - spread your labia with one hand and use the other to swab.

3. STIR AND SHAKE

  • Put the used swab into the vial and stir it for 1 minute to transfer the bacteria.
  • Discard the swab in the trash.
  • Close the tube tightly and shake vigorously for 1 minute.

4. SEND

  • All of kits include a secure mailer, so that you can send your samples right back to us.
  • US kits come with prepaid postage. Just drop the envelope in the mail.

Will my gut sample smell?

No. The amount of the sample needed is quite small, and the cotton swab goes immediately into the lysing solution in a closed container. Nothing smelly at all.

What kind of results will I get?

After your sample has been analyzed, you get to be an explorer and learn about the vast rainforest of bacteria in your body. Logging in to uBiome.com, you'll see detailed information on each of these bacteria - what their names are, how many of each kind there are, what their functions are in the body.

You may find yourself curious to compare your results with the aggregate results of everyone who's done the test, and with specific groups of people. Say you want to look at how your microbiome compares to vegans, or smokers, or people on antibiotics. You can do that!

It’s important to be aware that uBiome is designed to be a tool for personal research, NOT a diagnostic tool. You won't find any predictions about your future health. And your results will not diagnose any medical condition.

What you will find is a chance to better understand your microbiome, how you compare to others, and even how you compare to yourself over time. (Before and after going gluten-free or starting a new medication, for example.) Last but not least, you may find a warm glow in your heart from knowing that you are contributing to advancements in research that may have tremendous benefit for the future of human health and well-being.

Will I be able to download my raw data?

Absolutely! From your sample's Dashboard, you will have the opportunity to click either "Download Taxonomy (CSV)" or “Download Taxonomy (JSON)” or “Download Sequence Data” from the advanced tab.

Taxonomy files are a summary of all the microbes we found in your sample, which you can see either as a spreadsheet (CSV) or in an easy machine-readable form (JSON) suitable for analysis in a programming language like Python. The taxonomy includes details about the specific microbes, their taxonomic rank, the percentage abundance in the sample, and more.  Sequence data is the complete, raw FASTQ files downloaded directly from our high-speed gene sequencing machine.

For a more complete tutorial on what to do with your raw data, read Richard Sprague's article on our blog.

What is the difference between uBiome Explorer™ and SmartGut™?

uBiome Explorer™ is a citizen science tool to explore the microbiome of the nose, mouth, skin, gut, and genitals, and to track changes in the microbiome. It includes online interactive tools to help you understand how your bacteria compare to others and yourself over time. SmartGut is a clinical laboratory test ordered by healthcare providers for patients with chronic gut conditions. It detects 26 bacterial targets at a high level of accuracy to better understand: 1) if there are specific pathogens present that might be causing illness, 2) the balance of commensal and beneficial bacteria that may be contributing to your symptoms, and 3) risk factors relating to the microbiome.

What is uBiome?

uBiome is the leading microbial genomics company, providing state-of-the-art DNA sequencing to healthcare patients and citizen scientists. We aim to advance the science of microbial genomics and provide everyday people with vital information that enables them to take greater control over their health and their lives. Our technology, based on research pioneered by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) Human Microbiome Project, has enabled tens of thousand of citizen scientists and collaborating institutions to participate in large-scale microbiome studies.

How are you involving the public in your work?

We are involving the public in data collection, hypothesis-generation, and hypothesis testing with our Explorer Collection Kits and the uBiome Explorer. Our goal is to build a community around long-term sequencing of the human microbiome. Your SmartGut™ sample and data will not be used for research and development unless you allow us to do so by signing the consent when registering your SmartGut™ sample.

Does the uBiome research study have Institutional Review Board approval?

Yes. An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee that approves, oversees, and reviews biomedical and behavioral research involving humans. The committee determines whether or not research should be done, and advocates for the individual participant.

uBiome has received research study approval from Asentral, Inc. If you choose to participate in our research study for SmartGut™, you will need to read and sign our electronic Informed Consent form that outlines the risks and benefits of participation. We are committed to caring ethically for everyone in our community.

How do you ensure the privacy of user data and results?

Your privacy is our top priority. To ensure the privacy of your data and your results, we use multiple layers of encryption, the highest levels of computer security, and follow strict HIPAA protocols. You control your data, and can choose whether or not you consent to having your data be anonymized and aggregated into our uBiome research studies.

Does uBiome collaborate on a research and citizen scientist studies?

Our goal is to build a community around long-term sequencing of the human microbiome. We want to engage and involve you in the process. Please contact us at studies@ubiome.com.

How do I get the latest uBiome news?

To keep up with uBiome and the latest developments in the world of microbial genomics, visit our blog or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Or, you can subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter below.

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