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Recognizing the reagent microbiome

A noticeable part of the microbiome literature, especially that working with low-biomass samples, is plagued by reagent contamination. Here we describe visual, statistical, methodical and ecological techniques to facilitate recognition of signals that represent contamination.

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Fig. 1: Reagent contamination recognition strategies.


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The work was supported by the Medical Research Council (UK; G1100221) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Cambridge Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre (Women’s Health theme).

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Correspondence to Julian Parkhill.

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de Goffau, M.C., Lager, S., Salter, S.J. et al. Recognizing the reagent microbiome. Nat Microbiol 3, 851–853 (2018).

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