Top Innovative Microbiome Projects To Watch For In 2023: Microbiome Health And Wellness Hackathon

 

MIcrobiome in Health and Wellness

 

Microbiome in Health and Wellness is an event that brought together companies, universities, and students to propose innovative ideas at the intersection of Genomics, Business, and Computer Science

 

To prepare for the hackathon, qualified teams participated in expert-led training sessions that to help them understand and use appropriate terminology and concepts needed to innovate. After completing the training, the teams went on to address real problems and propose their solutions to independent judges. 

 

Here is a look into the microbiome projects completed by various competing teams in the hackathon: VicroPreg Predictor

Problem Statement: The vaginal microbiome is significantly implicated in over 30 major women’s health conditions. These include recurrent bacterial vaginosis, UTIs, STIs, and pregnancy-related complications. Presently, there is a need for studies related to vaginal microbiota to not only comprehend the mechanism of pregnancy-related complications but also to predict their occurrence and provide light on prospective medicinal interventions. 

 

Methodology & Results: To investigate this topic, a group of biotechnology and bioinformatics postgraduate students and research scholars from Amity University, Noida, IndiaNithya Kruthi, Sudeepti Kulshrestha, Anika Goel, and Aryan Chikara carried out a metagenomic analysis of patient datasets. Taxonomic classification of the samples revealed the microbial composition of the vaginal microbiome samples.

 

Image by nensuria on Freepik

 

Project Completion – Next Steps: Based on research carried out the team developed – “VicroPreg Predictor”, an all-in-one wellness solution for understanding and predicting the likelihood of vaginal infections, STIs, and pregnancy-related complications based on vaginal microbiome composition.

Project Link – VicroPreg Predictor

 

To know more, watch their presentation recording: 

 

 

Skin Microbiome Solutions For Psoriasis Patients

 

Problem Statement: Presently about 125 million people worldwide have psoriasis. Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that causes inflammation in the body. Studies have revealed that almost one in three people with psoriasis may also develop psoriatic arthritis. Millions of people in the U.S. and around the world experience psoriasis, and there is no cure, yet.

 

Methodology & Results: To gain more insights about the disease, Aya, Ph.D Student at Purdue University, Indiana, United States and Zoran Pantoulas, Senior Business Development Manager & Masters Student in Bioinformatics and Biostatistics for CEMP analyzed skin metagenomic data from psoriasis patients.

 

Image by Freepik

Focusing both on Phylum level and on Genus level, the team identified a microbial profile that characterizes psoriasis patients. Considering the general stress effects of the disease to the every day life of psoriasis patients, the team decided to focus on a direction that requires only a skin microbiome sample, so as to reduce the burden on them.

 

Project Completion – Next Steps: Based on this profile, the team plans to go ahead with two commercial solutions: a) Probiotic creams based on bacteriotherapy and b) Skin monitoring app with skin microbiome reference information.

Project Link – Skin microbiome solutions for Psoriasis patients 

 

To know more, watch their presentation recording: 

 

Early Detection of Neurological Disorders With A Specific Focus On Alzheimer's Disease 

Problem Statement: Presently, more than 55 million people live with dementia worldwide. Alzheimer’s disease stands to be the most common type of dementia accounting for 50-70% of all cases of dementia. Alzheimer’s Disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. Today, there is an urgent need to diagnose the patient earlier before the cognitive deficits have reached the threshold of dementia. 

 

Image by DCStudio on Freepik 

 

Methodology & Results: To tackle the issue from a different perspective, a team of undergraduate bioengineering students from Vellore Institute of Technology, Bhopal, IndiaNilabha Mukherjea; Subhashree Nayak; Ansh Raizada; and Bhaavyaa Sahukari employed a gut-microbiome-brain axis approach to understanding the neurodegenerative brain processes. The team began by searching and identifying competent datasets to be used for the analysis and to develop a compelling case. The literature surrounding microbial dysbiosis and neurological disorders was pursued parallel to employing bioinformatics analysis. The analysis results revealed the identification of specific bacterial populations that can be used for the early detection hypothesis. 

Project Completion – Next Steps: Based on this, the team aims to create an early detection kit to measure said microbial dysbiosis of the gut microbiota via fecal samples of patients using the gut microbiota of a model individual as a reference. The kit will measure the degree of dysbiosis based on which recommendations can be made to delay the onset of dementia due to Alzheimer's disease. 

Project Link – Early Detection of Neurological Disorders with a specific focus on Alzheimer's disease

 

To know more, watch their presentation recording: 

 

VAGINAL MICROBIOME TESTING - Improving ART outcomes and fertility in women

 

Problem Statement: The global fertility rate is steadily declining. Statistically, 1 in 5 women are unable to conceive after 1 year of trying and over 48.5 million people struggle with infertility globally. The aim is to improve the fertility of women in Nigeria and improve their chances of carrying their babies to term. 

 

Image by artursafronovvvv on Freepik

 

Methodology & Results: The topic was investigated by a team of molecular biologists from Biologix Support Services, Nigeria comprising of Dr. Voke Toye, Dorcas Akinuli, Gideon Ojerinde, Noah Bukoye, Emmanuel Afolayemi, and Ijeoma Asilebo. Based on the analysis, it was found that Lactobacillus spp. was more common in successful ART treatments and fertile women than in infertile women and women who had abortions during ART implantation, according to the analysis of the vaginal microbiome. Their findings indicate the importance of including vaginal microbiome testing in the repertoire of tests to be carried out preceding ART procedures.

Project Completion – Next Steps: The team is planning on introducing a test kit for sample collection at a minimal cost of USD 150. The aim is to improve the fertility of women in Nigeria and improve their chances of carrying their babies to term. 

Project Link – VAGINAL MICROBIOME TESTING-Improving ART outcomes and fertility in women

 

To know more, watch their presentation recording: 

 

 

OmicsLogic Research Fellowship Program (Metagenomics Specialization Track)

 

Research Fellowship Program

 

If you too are interested to enter the field of metagenomics to carry out a research project and pitch your idea, enroll for the OmicsLogic Research Fellowship Program (Metagenomics Specialization Track). The Research Fellowship program has been designed to help young researchers and students take advantage of the bioinformatics resources for the analysis of complex life science data and become versed in bioinformatics. The fellowship program will offer a combination of online resources and mentor guidance to prepare you and help you complete a bioinformatics project.

 

To know more, visit: https://edu.omicslogic.com/omics-logic-research-fellowship 

 

If you have any queries about the program details or registration process, please reach out to us at marketing@omicslogic.com

Further Reading

  1. All You Need To Know About Microbiome In Health & Wellness Hackathon – https://edu.omicslogic.com/blog/all-you-need-to-know-about-microbiome-in-health-wellness-hackathon 
  2. Microbiome in Health and Wellness Hackathon: Associated Resources & Potential Student Project Outcomes – https://edu.omicslogic.com/blog/microbiome-in-health-and-wellness-hackathon-associated-resources-potential-student-project-outcomes 
  3. Microbiome & Technology: Recap of Week 1 Microbiome in Health and Wellness Hackathon – https://edu.omicslogic.com/blog/microbiome-technology-recap-of-week-1-microbiome-in-health-and-wellness-hackathon 

 

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