We’re not alone!
Did you know we all have two genomes? One is our own DNA, the other is the combined genetic code of all the microbes that call us home. We name the collective genes of these microscopic co-inhabitants our “microbiome”. Although we can do little to change our own DNA, our microbiome is variable, and this variation can result in both health benefits (e.g., improved digestion and weight control) and detrimental effects (e.g., metabolic, muscular, and neurological disorders). But our understanding of our microbiome is just in its infancy.
What you get is what you see
Our microbiome is increasingly viewed to affect us as if it were another organ — metabolizing and releasing toxins and mediators. Previously, technical limitations of culture-based detection skewed knowledge to those bugs easily cultured, rather than actually identifying who’s there. Since the availability of quantitative PCR (qPCR), our view of the commensal microbes has changed dramatically because of the greater capability of detection now possible. Metagenomics, the study of genetic material in an environment using qPCR, gives us the opportunity to look for associations between disease and specific microbiomes.
An array of labor-saving assays
QIAGEN has the largest qPCR assay collection available to support microbiome and microbiology studies (over 500 to date). Collectively, these enable microbial identification and profiling, detection of virulence factors and antibiotic resistance genes.
“Sometimes, a change in the amount of one species tips the balance of human physiology. So, to offer this number of assays targeted so precisely, we constructed a novel assay design pipeline from the ground up.” says Dr. Brian McNally, Global Product Manager, “We are thrilled to hear from scientists in different areas of research on how excited they are to have the tests they always wanted!”
Simpler by design
To accelerate research studies, QIAGEN also provides prepared panels of assays within a PCR array — or customers select to their own design!.
“Scientists tell us the custom array design experience is very rewarding because it allows them to design the experiments they want to maximize the use of their research budget, and accelerate their focused metagenomic studies” added Dr. McNally.
Back to topMaking improvements in life possible
Efficiently making sense from the complex — rapidly identifying all bugs present — assists our understanding of microbes on health. QIAGEN is dedicated to increasing the power of tools available to researchers to more rapidly accomplish breakthroughs in this advancing field.