• concern not just about underpowered studies, but also tissue under-sampling) and a lack of causal and mechanistic studies.

  • Dietary interventions intended to have an impact on host biology via their impact on the microbiome are being developed, and the market for these products is seeing tremendous success. However, the current regulatory framework poses challenges to industry interest and investment.

In her keynote address, Karen Nelson, president of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), touched on all of these themes. With respect to the in-

BOX O-1
Definition of Key Terms

Commensal: An organism participating in a symbiotic relationship in which one species derives some benefit while the other is unaffected Enterotype: The concept that distinct communities of bacteria are defined by their bacterial composition (Arumugam et al., 2011)

Metabonomics: The quantitative measurement of the multiparametric (time-related) metabolic responses of complex systems to a pathophysiological stimulus or genetic modification (Nicholson et al., 1999); often used synonymously with metabolomics (Fiehn, 2002)

Metagenomics: The study of the gene content and encoded functional attributes of the gut microbiome in healthy humans (Gill et al., 2006)

Microbiome (human): The full complement of microbes (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa), their genes, and genomes in or on the human body Prebiotic: A substance that (1) is resistant to gastric acidity, to enzymatic hydrolysis, and to gastrointestinal absorption (i.e., not hydrolytically digestible); (2) is fermented by cecal-colonic microflora; and (3) selectively stimulates growth and/or activity of those bacteria that contribute to colonic and host health (Gibson et al., 2004) or a nonviable food component that confers a health benefit on the host associated with modulation of the microbiota (Pineiro et al., 2008)

Probiotics: Living microorganisms that when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on their host (FAO-WHO, 2002)

Resistome: The collective informational resources available to the microbiome for responding to antimicrobial pressure (Wright, 2007)



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