Demystifying the Human Microbiome Using AI
By Gaurav Chandra  |  Dec 01, 2021
Demystifying the Human Microbiome Using AI
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Artificial Intelligence continues to be a significant driver for advancing healthcare and understanding the microbiome will be pivotal to that transformation. Dr Gaurav Chandra discusses the crucial role the microbiome will play, enabling precision medicine that is more preventive, predictive, and personal than ever before.

DENVER, COLORADO - The father of modern Western Medicine, Hippocrates, was a firm believer in the statement, "All disease begins in the gut." Humans are superorganisms, an agglomerate of microbial and mammalian cells that have co-evolved over time. These microbes predate Earth's biodiversity, and they are the most numerous, diverse, and ubiquitous. 

What is the Microbiome?

Human bodies contain about 40 trillion human cells and roughly 22,000 human genes, and as many as 100 trillion microbial cells belonging to more than 7,000 strains. Collectively, these contain 10 times the number of human cells and 100 times as many genes as our genome (the microbiota) and 2 million microbial genes. 

The microbe colonization starts before birth, and humans receive further additions. At the same time, they travel through the mother's birth canal, and that microbiota has a maternal signature. So, by the first year, we have our distinct, adult-like microbial ecosystem. 

These cells are found in the digestive tract, internal organs, mouth, nose, eyes, and skin. The microbiome is a living organ system that is unique in its composition to each person. There is a symbiotic bond between the human body and the organisms required for its metabolic function. The microbiome feeds more than 10 percent of people's daily calories. Human enzymes are not able to break down the calories derived from plant carbohydrates.

Additionally, a mother's milk contains glycans, which human enzymes cannot digest, but bacterial ones can. The human microbiome constantly evolves with advancing age. The appearance of unusually early microbiome aging patterns relative to chronological age could signal altered susceptibility for age-related diseases. Vitamins, notably B2, B12, and folic acid, are also made by the microbiome. It can adjust its output to its h

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