Gut Microbe Networks Differ from Norm in Obese People, Systems Biology Approach Reveals
University of Washington, January 10, 2012
For the first time, researchers have analyzed the multitude of microorganisms residing in the human gut as a complex, integrated biological system, rather than a set of separate species. Their approach has revealed patterns that correspond with excess body weight.
The senior author of the paper, Elhanan Borenstein, assistant professor of genome sciences at the University of Washington, said, "Our research introduces a novel framework, applying systems biology and in-silico (computer) modeling to study the human microbiome -- the complex ensemble of microorganisms that populate the human body -- as a single cohesive system."
Sharon Greenblum of the UW Department of Genome Sciences and Peter J. Turnbaugh of the FAS Center for Systems Biology at Harvard University were on the research team. Borenstein also holds an adjunct appointment at the UW's Department of Computer Science & Engineering and is an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.