building a picture of Latin American microbiomes


I’m in my moist lab on the Microbial Genomics Laboratory of the Pasteur Institute of Montevideo in Uruguay, which I arrange in 2019. Most of my group’s initiatives begin right here, however many transfer into bioinformatics analysis on the opposite facet of the hall, or by distant connections to computing programs elsewhere on the earth — typically on the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Hinxton, UK, the place I’m additionally affiliated.

One long-term analysis aim is to raised perceive the intestine microbiome — the composition and stability of micro organism within the intestine — and the way it varies throughout populations, to assist deal with many circumstances. It’s particularly essential for Latin American international locations, as a result of present human-microbiome databases come from wealthier international locations — in North America, Europe and China, particularly — the place a lot of the sampling has been completed. This results in bias. You may’t make dependable medical choices on intestine well being for a Latin American particular person with European information. Latin America has among the highest weight problems charges on the earth, so a greater understanding may assist policymakers.

I lead a consortium of scientists in Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Peru and French Guiana. We collect information on microbiomes in these extremely heterogeneous international locations. I see it as a puzzle; we have to discover items from throughout the area earlier than we will put the image collectively.

My long-term dream is to assist different scientific communities (in Jap Europe, southeast Asia or Africa, for instance) to gather and analyse microbiome information, in order that medical interventions make sense for native populations, diets and cultures.

As soon as I’ve completed that, maybe I can return to cooking — one in all my hobbies — or rising greens. My father is a farmer in Cardona within the southwest of Uruguay, and I go to typically. It’s satisfying doing worthwhile analysis that’s particular to this continent.

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