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"The collection protocol is very convenient, the extraction is very quick and simple, and the yield is great. Our downstream applications include PCR, restriction enzyme digestion and sequencing. We have collected numerous family members who were not willing to go for a blood draw, as well as children, elderly patients and overseas relatives. The ease of shipping and self-collection are remarkable. Our lab is very impressed with this timely product."

Ruth McPherson, MD, PhD
Nihan Kavaslar, PhD
Lipoproteins and Atherosclerosis Research Group
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

The Open Microbiome Network Initiative (OMNI) Project

The human body is host to trillions of microbial cells – bacteria, viruses and other living things. These microbes live in many places on and inside our bodies, such as the skin, mouth, nose and gut. While we still don’t know how they do it, some of these microbes keep us healthy and others contribute to diseases. Similarly, changes to our health can affect our microbes. So can things like where we live or work, our age, ancestry, health status and diet, and probably many other things we don’t yet know about.

The goal of the OMNI Project is to investigate the impact of diet, lifestyle and habits on the human microbiome and to make what we discover available to researchers around the world so they can use it in future studies related to health and disease. In addition, by using validated biospecimen collection and stabilization methods, as well as rigorous metadata collection, lab processing, and analysis techniques, we hope the OMNI project will foster international collaboration and advance our understanding of thing like:

  • Study design
  • Alternative recruitment methods
  • Participant engagement strategies
  • Effect sizes
  • Potential confounding factors

Here’s how it works:

  • Participants use the OMNI Project online study portal to set up a secure profile, consent to participate in the study and fill out questionnaires about their lifestyle, environment, diet and habits. OMNI Project study coordinators use the study portal for secure two-way communication to answer questions, provide additional instructions and updates on the progress of the research.
  • Participants receive a microbiome collection kit designed for easy self-collection of samples in their home. The kit distribution protocol will depend on the study arm the participant is enrolled in.
  • Once the sample is collected, participants mail their samples (at ambient temperature) to a central processing lab. Once processing is complete and the results are analysed, participants receive an individualized report about their microbiome.
  • There is no cost to the participant (other than their time) and rather than provide a cash incentive to return samples or fill out questionnaires, participants have the opportunity to contribute to this exciting area of research and to learn more about their own microbiome.

Digestive Disease Week 2017 Gut Microbiome Arm

We are currently enrolling participants into the gut microbiome arm of the OMNI Project during Digestive Disease Week 2017 in Chicago, Illinois from May 6th-9th, 2017. Enrollment for this study will begin a few weeks prior to Digestive Disease Week and collection kit distribution will occur during the conference.

If you are attending Digestive Disease Week 2017 and would like to participate in the study please register here.

*Please note: participation in this arm of the study is limited to Digestive Disease Week 2017 attendees. If you would like to be notified when additional phases of the study are open, please register your interest here.

Want to learn more? Interested in collaborating? Contact the study group at omniproject@dnagenotek.com.

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