Microbiome Insights co-founder Dr. Bill Mohn chairs the Advisory Board to the Microbiomes in Transition (MinT) program at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). In this video, our Scientific Advisory Board member Janet Jansson, Senior Microbial Scientist at PNNL, discusses how microbes affect human and environmental health.
Microbiomes exist everywhere, both in nature and within and on humans. The microbiomes of every human or ecosystem play a significant role in maintaining their proper function. Now, due to recent technological breakthroughs in sequencing and computing we are able to begin to characterise these organisms and their impacts.
Soil, for example, is one of the most diverse microbial communities on the planet and has traditionally been difficult to characterise. Understanding the microbial make-up of different soils like the permafrost, which currently has trapped within it vast amounts of carbon, will be crucial to understanding how, with warming temperatures, microbes will begin to degrade this carbon and release CO2. Within humans too, understanding the newfound correlations between the microbiome, diet, and certain diseases could constitute a huge step towards better health. To process all of this information strong analytic systems and supercomputing devices are required.