Washington, DC - About 100 trillion microbial cells reside in the human body—playing roles that might inspire a remake of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The microbiome has been linked to diseases ranging from obesity to autism, and to physiological processes ranging from exercise to sleep. New technologies enabling rapid and inexpensive gene sequencing are enabling scientists in many disciplines to unmask the intricate and integral linkages between the microbiome and human health.

Unfortunately, interlab comparability of measurements on microbiomes is unsatisfactory. Biases exist along every step of the measurement process, from sample collection and extraction techniques all the way to data analysis and interpretation. There is a need for the adoption of reference materials, reference data, and reference protocols in order to identify and eliminate measurement bias.

On Aug. 9-10, 2016, a workshop will survey and begin the job of prioritizing microbiome measurement needs, focusing on clinical diagnostics, therapeutics, and associated regulatory concerns. The workshop is sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the NIH Human Microbiome Project.

Join with colleagues from around the world to chart the steps needed to improve the reproducibility of microbiome research results and speed their translation to the clinic and the market.

Join our Twitter Chat: #NISTMicrobiome

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