The 14th International Conference on Genomics (ICG-14) has officially launched The Million Microbiome of Humans Project – MMHP on October 26. This project plans to work for the betterment of human health. But how it can do so?
Scientists from Denmark, France, China, Sweden, Latvia, and other countries will join hands in microbial metagenomic research. That aims for sequencing and analyzing one million microbial samples from the mouth, skin, intestines, reproductive tract, and other organs in the next three to five years.
And then, draw a complete microbiome map of the human body and create the world’s largest database of the human microbiome.
The project was jointly initiated by the Shanghai National Clinical Research Center for Metabolic Diseases in China; the University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Karolinska Institutet of Sweden; and the Technical University of Denmark.
Moreover, the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre; MetaGenoPolis at the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), France; and Shenzhen BGI Research were also part of the project initiation.
The Million Microbiome of Humans Project relies on MGI’s DNBSEQTM microbial genome sequencing technology to achieve its aim. This technology can draw maps of the human microbiome of different populations and health conditions.
Also, it can form a baseline of microecology research at the wide-ranging population level. That may publicize the research of cutting-edge translational medicine in the area of the human microbiome.
International scientific leaders had gathered in Shenzhen, October 26, for the launch of MMHP. These include Liu Ruixin, a researcher at the Shanghai National Clinical Research Center for Metabolic Diseases and Professor Lars Engstrand, director of the Centre for Translational Microbiome Research (CTMR) of the Karolinska Institutet.
Additionally, Duncan Yu, President of MGI, and Hou Yong, Executive Director of BGI Research; along with Dr. Xu Xun, Director of BGI Research and CEO of BGI Group were also involved in the launch of this project.
According to Dr. Liu, studying the variations in the human microbiome between the normal and pathological states, before and after therapy in larger metagenomics datasets, and analyzing its influence on human health and metabolism, can be much beneficial in the near future.
It will offer more options for new therapies in many fields such as cancer, reproductive health, metabolic diseases, and newborn health.
Professor Engstrand from the Karolinska Institutet is one of the lead principal investigators of the program. He stated that the MMHP – Million Microbiome of Humans Project aims to complete a human microbiome of a million-sample-sized map, that will lay a solid data foundation for existing micro-ecological research.
As the leading scientific research institution of metagenomic research, BGI Research will offer corresponding analytical resources and research platforms for 200,000 of the samples in the project.
According to Dr. Xu Xun just like individual genomes, the human microbiome is also closely related to individual health.
Currently, depending on MGI’s sequencing technology and platform, MMHP international partners have finished the first batch of 10,000 samples of metagenomic sequencing. The quality of its data has been well accepted by scientists from around the globe. And has laid a solid foundation for the further mapping of human microbiome maps of 100,000 and 1 million samples.