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Dr. Ruairi Robertson is a postdoctoral researcher based at the Institut Pasteur, Paris. He has 10 years of hands-on experience in microbiome research. His current work focuses on the influence of the early-life gut microbiome on child growth and immunity.

Entries by Ruairi Robertson, PhD

Shotgun Metagenomic Sequencing Guide

Microbiome research relies on accurate identification and classification of thousands of microbial species in a single biological sample. To date, this has largely been conducted using amplicon sequencing, such as 16S rRNA gene sequencing for the identification of bacteria and archaea. However,...

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16S rRNA Gene Sequencing vs. Shotgun Metagenomic Sequencing

Are you a company, lab or researcher planning a new microbiome study?  If so, you are probably considering whether to conduct 16S rRNA gene sequencing or shotgun metagenomic sequencing. Although 16S rRNA gene sequencing has been more commonly used for microbiome studies to date, shotgun metagenomics...

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16S rRNA Sequencing Guide

16S rRNA sequencing has been used extensively in microbiome research to identify the composition of bacteria and archaea within a wide variety of microbiomes from the human gut to the Amazon rainforest.

In this guide, we will explore the principles and applications of 16S rRNA sequencing, including...

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The Importance of Quantification in Microbiome Science

Next-generation sequencing is a hugely powerful tool in microbiome science to study what microbes and microbial genes are within a certain environment. This has led to major advances in our understanding of human health, environmental science and basic biology. However, next-generation sequencing...

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Shotgun Metagenomic Sequencing: Determining Depth

Before conducting a microbiome study with shotgun metagenomic sequencing, it is important to consider how deeply you will sequence your samples.

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The importance of longitudinal analysis in human microbiome studies

Human microbiome research has exploded over the past decade, revealing the fascinating influence of our bodily microbes on human health and disease from gut health to skin health to brain health. To date, however, a majority of human microbiome studies have been cross-sectional, analysing...

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Optimising DNA extraction for microbiome studies

Cultivation-independent microbiome research frequently requires the study of microbial DNA via its isolation and sequencing. However, microbes can vary by size, shape and morphology making their DNA easier or more difficult to isolate. This can lead to differences in microbiome results, depending...

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Pharmacomicrobiomics – The role of the gut microbiome in the response to drugs

In the past 30 days, nearly half of all US children and adults will have taken a prescription drug. In fact, prescription drug use is increasing in many countries. Although microbiome research has uncovered exciting ways that your gut microbes respond to diet, less is known about their interaction...

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The science behind Bill Gates’ vision: Will next-generation sequencing realistically contribute to solving the problem of child undernutrition?

In a recent lecture at the University of Cambridge, Bill Gates argued that the key to solving child malnutrition, one of the biggest global contributors to inequity, lies in deeper understanding of the gut microbiome. Much microbiome research has focussed on the influence of the gut microbiome on...

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Shallow Shotgun Sequencing: A Primer

It is common for microbiome researchers to struggle over the choice between 16S sequencing or shotgun metagenome sequencing (SMS) for their study. When deciding which sequencing technique to use, it is essential to consider a number of factors including the research question, study design and cost....

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