Clinical Laboratories Might Soon Be ‘Diagnosing’ Obesity and Guiding Therapies That Utilize Engineered Microbes
Obesity may be one of several health conditions and diseases where the human microbiome can be harnessed for diagnostic and therapeutic uses
Microbiologists could soon be the front lines in the nation’s fight against obesity and possibly other chronic diseases. New research underway at Vanderbilt University could lead to a host of new clinical laboratory tests that use engineered microbes.
This research is revealing how the human microbiome can be the source of new biomarkers for diagnostic tests and therapeutic drugs. In fact, early research findings point to the possibility that pathologists and clinical laboratories may eventually use the human microbiome in their daily work.
Engineering Bacteria to Battle Obesity
The human microbiome has remained largely unstudied. One reason why this is true is that it has been difficult to recreate, in the laboratory, the optimal conditions to allow these microbes to grow and thrive just as they do in the human body. However, as researchers continue to make new discoveries about this community of micro-organisms, there is optimism that elements of the human microbiome can be used to develop novel medical laboratory tests. (more…)