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Technology Cutting-edge biotechnology used to help people
BIOMES gives people tools with the aim of making them healthier and happier, and wants to be a lifelong companion on the path to humans and animals living healthier lives. The INTEST.pro intestinal flora analysis is a quantum leap in stool analysis.
We used to count bacteria under the microscope to find particularly important germs such as salmonella. These days, however, we know that not all bacteria can be “found” this way. That is why we analyse the DNA of the bacteria.
DNA is the tiniest but most essential building block of life – this applies to both humans and the bacteria with which we share our bodies. DNA contains millions of pieces of information, so we can’t look at it under the microscope and “count it”. Instead, the biological DNA is extracted from a sample and converted into digital DNA, making it computer readable. Our bacterial composition is as unique as a fingerprint. Even the smallest amount of stool contains enough microbial DNA to analyse this bacterial composition.
However, it’s not enough to analyse and identify the bacteria; the most important step is the interpretation that follows. The “bacterial findings” are interpreted by the BIOMES knowledge database. This database contains the results of over 7,900 clinical and scientific microbiome studies from around the world. Only results that meet our strict catalogue of criteria will be taken into account. The database is updated on an almost daily basis. This means we are always up to date with the latest research – and our results are 100% evidence-based. As a result, our customers receive not only a report on their microbiota profile, but also scientifically-based recommendations for improvement.
- 90% bacteria
- 100Trill. microbial cells
- 2× as many bacterial cells
The so-called microbiome, colloquially also often called “gut flora”, is a highly complex ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms. It consists of about 100 trillion microbial cells that live in and on parts of the human body such as the intestine, skin, mouth, nose or genitals. This means that we actually harbour 2x more microbial cells in and on our bodies than we have human cells. The number of genes in our microbes even exceeds our own by 150 times. It is obvious that these many co-inhabitants do not remain without influence on our body. Our microbiota fulfils many important functions that our body cannot perform without them. Thus, our intestinal bacteria have a decisive influence on our health and well-being.
against harmful microorganisms, e.g. viruses
on body weight and calorie utilisation
of our food and influence on nutrient uptake
of mood, sleep and well-being
of the immune system to differentiate between friend and foe
of important substances such as serotonin, vitamins, including B12, K and folate
The sample container contains a solution that preserves the DNA of the intestinal bacteria for up to 2 years and stabilises it at temperatures from -20 °C to +40 °C. BIOMES works with a very specific and sensitive method. This means that almost all of a person’s intestinal bacteria can be detected from just one stool sample. DNA is already present in smallest the amount of stool, so a tiny stool sample is enough to map the entire genome of the intestinal bacteria.
A healthy intestinal flora contains a large number of essential bacteria. The DNA of the bacteria contains information about the type, structure and function of the individual organisms. The sequence of the nucleic acids in the strand of DNA encodes the genetic information for the building blocks of a bacterium. To obtain this information, the DNA must first be isolated (extracted). BIOMES only analyses the DNA of the microbes contained in the sample, not human DNA!
A specific gene of the microorganisms, the so-called 16S rDNA, is analysed. All bacteria have this gene, however, each organism has its own base sequence.
For the analysis, the relevant sections from the isolated bacteria DNA are multiplied (sequencing). The DNA of each sample is then prepared for the Next-Generation Sequencing. A synthetic barcode is attached so that the sample can be identified later on.
Next-Generation Sequencing is a technique used to clarify the nucleic acid sequence and is therefore the basis for identifying the bacteria contained in the sample.
Simply put, the biological DNA of the intestinal bacteria was transformed into digital DNA with the help of Next-Generation Sequencing. This makes the biological information of the bacteria, which is encoded in their DNA, digitally readable by a computer.
A software pipeline developed in-house is used to check the data quality. At the end of this pipeline is data that contains information regarding all the bacteria found in the sample.
Before the individual bacterial profile can be created, this data must be compared with all known bacteria genomes. This process is called “mapping”. The DNA sequences found in the sample are compared with a database that contains all previously identified bacteria genes.
In the end, a unique microbiome profile is produced, in which all the bacteria contained in the sample are not only identified, but also quantified. Because it’s not only important to know which bacteria a person has, but also how many they have and how they are distributed.
It is also not only important to know how many of which bacteria people have in their intestine.We must also understand what functions these bacteria fulfil. This is the only way to interpret the individual microbiome profile.
To this end, the BIOMES scientists have built up a meta knowledge database over several years of research, which combines the results of over 7,900 microbiome studies from around the world. The selection of these studies is based on strict assessment criteria. Microbiome research is an emerging field. BIOMES only uses statements on areas of intestinal flora that have already been well-researched.
In medicine, reference values are widespread and determine a general value that is intended to indicate what should be considered healthy or sick. However, different values have to be set for people in different circumstances. This means that: What is considered healthy for an 80-year-old woman who has eaten meat and been an omnivore her whole life is not necessarily healthy for an 18-year-old vegan.
That is why BIOMES also interprets the data by comparing it with the BIOMES community. To do this, suitable sub-groups are created that fit the respective person in order to be able to better spot deviations in their microbiome profile.
The result is an in-depth yet understandable report in which the bacteria are grouped into various topics by their function. Nutritional and lifestyle recommendations are made for each weak point. All interpretations are based on the BIOMES knowledge database and are therefore 100% evidence-based. The primary scientific literature is linked transparently.
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