Understanding the Microbiome

Challenge:

Interest in the microbiome has continued to widen as we begin to understand the important relationship between the microbiome and fields of nutrition, immunology, oncology, reproductive medicine, skin care, animal health and more. Specifically, there is growing evidence that disequilibrium of gut microbiota is associated with intestinal disorders like inflammatory bowel disease and extra-intestinal disorders, including asthma, cardiovascular, metabolic disorders (i.e., type 2 diabetes and liver disease) as well as neurological diseases (i.e., epilepsy, ALS and Alzheimer’s).

While existing methods can inform on the microbes that are present, most researchers are still no closer to understanding underlying microbiome functional state and how it impacts health, wellness and disease. Another tool is needed.

 Approach:

The microbiome is inextricably linked to the metabolome, which refers to all the small-molecules found in a biological sample. The microbiome offers a vast and mostly untapped diversity of chemical signals influencing normal development, disease, and even the response to therapeutics. Metabolomics is uniquely positioned to provide a readout of the small molecule metabolites, which serve as the “language” for communication between microbiota and the host and between microbial populations. Metabolon’s untargeted approach to metabolomics can unlock the unanswered question of what the microbes are doing in the gut, skin, and brain and how they are communicating. This approach enables researchers to glean actionable insights to deliver impact, unraveling “how” the organisms of the microbiome exert their influence on health – our skin, our gut, our brain and even our pets.