LifestyleHealthAI to help map human intestinal bacteria

AI to help map human intestinal bacteria

-

Copenhagen (Denmark): The faculty of health and medical sciences from the University of Copenhagen have developed a ground-breaking technique that can assist to disentangle the secrets of the human intestinal microbes.

The intestines and their bacteria are sometimes called our ‘second brain’, but studying these bacteria in their natural environment is difficult. Now researchers have developed a method that uses artificial intelligence to map intestinal bacteria using feces. The researchers thus hope to gain more knowledge of the role played by these bacteria in various diseases.

Both past and present-day scientists have suspected the intestines of playing a role in various diseases. Present-day studies focus on the intestinal flora’s role in physical diseases such as diabetes and overweight, while others seek to establish a connection between the intestinal flora and e.g. autism, schizophrenia, and depression. But even modern-day scientists have difficulties studying the around 500-1000 different species among the approx. 100 billion active bacteria in our intestines.

Aside from working together with the immune system in vital cooperation, imbalance in the intestinal bacteria composition is the cause of chronic disease of the alimentary tract of which 50,000 Danes suffer.

In recent years scientists have discovered that bacteria have a great impact on the body. A lot of research is being done within this field, but still, all the bacteria are not identified in and on the human body.

“Knowledge of the bacteria is vital if we are to understand what is going on. That is where our technology can make a difference”, says Associate Professor Simon Rasmussen, who together with his team of researchers at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research is responsible for the new study, the results of which have just been published in Nature Biotechnology.

Also read: China: Tech giant Huawei overturns narrative on AI patent designed to identify Uyghurs

‘The presence of bacteria is vital to the immune system, and this is true not least of intestinal bacteria. But the problem is that it is very difficult to study intestinal bacteria in their natural environment, which they often deeply depend on in order to survive,” Rasmussen added.

Now, researchers have developed a method that uses artificial intelligence to identify the bacteria found in and on the human body. This will give an idea of how they work together and what happens when one falls ill.

Instead of studying the bacteria inside the intestines, the researchers have analyzed the intestines’ ultimate by-product: feces.

Feces contain remains of the bacteria that have helped metabolize the food in the stomach and intestines and thus offer unique insight into an otherwise inaccessible environment. So far technology has only allowed researchers to read fragments of the bacteria’s’ DNA which is equivalent to doing a puzzle with only a fraction of the pieces.

Therefore, Simon Rasmussen and his team of researchers have developed an algorithm that uses artificial intelligence to complete the DNA strings of bacteria in feces. And now researchers from all over the world can help finish the puzzle.

‘One gram of feces contains around a billion bacteria of 500-1000 different kinds. If we are able to reconstruct their DNA, it will give us an idea of the types of bacteria we are dealing with, what they are capable of and what they

According to Rasmussen, the ability of artificial intelligence to analyze the bacterial content of very small samples may also be used to study other substances than feces.

Aside from the article on the algorithm, the team has several other studies in the pipeline demonstrating the use of their technology.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

Swiss unanimously votes for same-sex union referendum

GENEVA — In Switzerland, a controversial same-sex marriage referendum has been resoundingly approved by voters of the conservative, rich Alpine...

New Covid surge overwhelms hospitals in parts of US

WASHINGTON, D.C. — According to one of the country's top health officials, the spike in coronavirus cases in the...

China wants effeminate male celebs to man up

WASHINGTON — Macho men are in and effeminate male performers are out as Beijing expands its crackdown on China's entertainment...

Billie Eilish, BTS to perform at climate change concert

Billie Eilish, BTS, and Elton John, among others, will donate their star power to Global Citizen Live on Saturday...

Google faces off EU in court over record $5.1 billion antitrust fine

This week, Google will face the European Commission in a five-day court hearing, appealing a record $5.1 billion fine...

WHO’s Covax misses 2021 target. What went wrong?

The latest supply forecast for Covax – the programme for sharing COVID-19 vaccines around the world – suggests that accelerating vaccination...

Must read

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you