• Project Title: Modifying the Microbiome

  • BASIS Advisor: Mr. Thomas

  • Internship Location: BioLabs

  • Onsite Mentor: Mr. Neal Gidvani

A microbiome is a collection of microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, eukarya, etc., in a certain ecosystem. The human gut microbiome plays a vital role in health and fitness; research has also shown that the microbiome is responsible for many diseases, such as lactose intolerance, dysbiosis, and diabetes, just to name a few. Unfortunately, a majority of over-the-counter probiotics are very general and most don’t even survive the harsh conditions of the stomach. Conditions associated with an imbalance of the gut microbiome could be suppressed or even cured with proper probiotics. My project has three main goals. The first is to find out how the microbiome affects athletes and how certain bacteria are helpful for an athletic lifestyle. The second is to see if one can acquire these microbes and if it is possible to change the microbiome at all. The third is to create an easier way to represent an individual's microbiome. I will sequence my own DNA and get involved with the actual formation of probiotics in the lab at BioLabs. I will write a report on the common organisms found in athlete’s microbiomes and compare them to my own, as well as the process of sequencing a microbiome and formulating a custom probiotic for each microbiome. I will discuss what makes a healthy microbiome and reflect on the accuracy of probiotics and how they are able to affect change on an individual's microbiome.