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Language, numeracy and logic in microbiome science

To deliver precision therapeutics, microbiome-based medicine will require precision of language, logic and numerical accuracy. Epidemiological lessons of the past suggest that attempts to link almost everything in modern life with the microbiome as a risk factor for disease, without rapprochement with plausible mechanisms, will generate controversy rather than consensus.

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  • 12 June 2019

    An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.


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F.S. and C.H. are supported, in part, by research grants from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), including a centre grant (Number SFI/12/RC/227).

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Correspondence to Fergus Shanahan.

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Fig. 1: Model demonstrating comparisons of abundance between microbiomes.