In 2019, there have been substantial advances in our understanding of the gut microbiome. Key developments include an improved gut-on-a-chip system, a search for small proteins produced by the commensal gut microbiome and the publication of one of the most comprehensive multi-omic datasets for interrogating host–microorganism interactions in inflammatory bowel disease.
Researchers successfully developed an improved gut-on-a-chip system that enabled sustained co-culture of gut epithelium with a complex anerobic microbial community that was recoverable and stable after 5 days3.
A metagenome-mining effort to discover small proteins produced by the commensal gut microbiome identified 4,539 protein families that have never before been described in the commensal gut microbiome4.
One of the most comprehensive multi-omic datasets for interrogating host–microorganism interactions in IBD identified a characteristic dysbiotic composition in patients with IBD that deviated from that of non-IBD controls, as well as large inter-individual differences7.
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The authors declare no competing interests.
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Devkota, S. Big data and tiny proteins: shining a light on the dark corners of the gut microbiome. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 17, 68–69 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41575-019-0243-6