A press release just came out announcing the American Gut Project: New public gut bacteria study expected to reach around world | University of Colorado Boulder. From Rob Knight, Jeff Leach and others this project aims to engage the public in a large scale study of the connection between diet and the human gut microbiome. Read more about it in the press release and I am sure more will come out soon. Full disclosure – I have agreed to be a collaborator on the project – though as a fully open project I think pretty much anyone could be a collaborator. Anyone this is definitely worth checking out.
As an aside – this is not the only crowd sourcing microbiome project out there. I just became aware of another one called uBiome and I am working on getting a guest blog post from the organizers. The American Gut project has got dozens of the major players in microbiome research involved. And with Rob Knight being one of the key players one can expect it to big, cutting edge things. Not sure about the scope / plans of uBiome but hopefully we will find out more soon.