Ami Bhatt, Stanford - Stanford Medicine Big Data | Precision Health 2016 | Summary and Q&A

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July 12, 2016
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Ami Bhatt, Stanford - Stanford Medicine Big Data | Precision Health 2016

TL;DR

The speaker discusses the history and significance of the microbiome, highlighting the importance of measuring, modeling, and intervening in order to improve health outcomes.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What role did Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur play in our understanding of bacteria?

Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur contributed significantly to the field of microbiology. Koch developed Koch's postulates, a set of criteria to determine the causative agent of a disease. Pasteur, known for his work in pasteurization, also made important contributions to microbiology and is credited with the discovery of penicillin.

Q: How does low gut microbiota diversity affect survival rates in stem cell transplant patients?

Research has shown that stem cell transplant patients with low diversity in their gut microbiota have poorer survival rates. Higher diversity is associated with better outcomes. Understanding the role of gut microbiota in transplantation could lead to interventions that improve patient outcomes.

Q: What are some ways to alter the microbiota?

There are several approaches to altering the microbiota. Antibiotics are commonly used, but other therapies include probiotics (live microbial therapies) and fecal microbiota transplantation. Additionally, prebiotics, which are specific foods that promote the growth of beneficial microbes, can also be used to alter the microbiota.

Q: How can big data be used to improve health outcomes in relation to the microbiome?

Big data can help researchers move beyond just identifying associations between the microbiome and health and towards establishing causal relationships. By measuring the microbiome, modeling its interactions, and intervening through various therapies, researchers can use big data to improve health outcomes.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The microbiome has been studied since the 1600s, when Anton van Leeuwenhoek discovered various microorganisms using a microscope.

  • Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur played important roles in establishing the germ theory and shaping our perception of microbes as harmful.

  • Advances in sequencing technology have allowed researchers to study the microbiome in great detail, leading to efforts to improve health outcomes by influencing the microbiome.

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