Fecal Transplants, Viking Poop and Crime Scenes: What’s Next In the Wild World of Microbiome Research?

The earth harbors almost 10 orders of magnitude more microbial cells than there are stars in the universe. The human body harbors up to ten times as many microbial cells as human cells. We live in a microbial world, and there is no escaping how microbes in our environment and in our bodies affect our lives every day. What are these microbes doing, and what can they tell us about ourselves? I will highlight recent research and bioinformatics tools from the Knight lab, such as visualizations of rapid microbial community change in C. Difficile patients as they are cured by fecal transplants. I will talk about my research on the ancient gut microbiome as well as on the postmortem microbiome. Can we use 1000-year-old fecal material (coprolites) to reconstruct a picture of our ancestral human gut microbiome before the extensive use of antibiotics? What happens to our microbes after death?  Can they be useful for forensic science?  Join me for a tour through recent microbiome research, and find out about the exciting information it is revealing.

Speaker: Jessica Metcalf, PhD

Speaker Institution: BioFrontiers, Institute, CU Boulder

Event Date: 09-02-2014

Event Start Time: 4:00 PM

Event Location: Anatomy/Zoology Building W118

Mixer Time: 3:30 PM

Mixer Location: Anatomy/Zoology Building E112

Host: Dr. Elizabeth Pilon-Smits