Removing the elephant in the room
The VIB team removed a big elephant in the microbiome room. With their new method, a combination of 16S rDNA sequencing and flow cytometry, microbial data can be evaluated using the actual numbers instead of only relative data. Using this method VIB discovered bacterial cell numbers differ up to ten times between healthy individuals. This difference increases to 50 times when including Crohn’s patients, who have a significantly lower cell number. The new technique will allow integrating microbiome and other omics data more easily. The corresponding article was published in nature and will be available open access soon.