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Sep 09, 2015
Yi Chuan = Hereditas / Zhongguo Yi Chuan Xue Hui Bian Ji
Humans are born with microbiota, which have accompanied us through our life-span. There is an important symbiotic relationship between us and the microbial communities, thus microbial communities are of great importance to our health. All genomic information within this microbiota is referered to as "metagenomics" (also referred to as "human's second genome"). The analysis of high throughput metagenomic data generated from biomedical experiments would provide new approaches for translational research, and it have several applications in clinics. With the help of next generation sequencing technology and the emerging metagenomic approach (analysis of all genomic information in microbiota as a whole), we can overcome the pitfalls of tedious traditional method of isolation and cultivation of single microbial species. The metagenomic approach can also help us to analyze the whole microbial community efficiently and offer deep insights in human-microbe relationships as well as new ideas on many biomedical problems. In this review, we summarize frontiers in metagenomic research, including new concepts and methods. Then, we focus on the applications of metagenomic research in medical researches and clinical applications in recent years, which would clearly show the importance of metagenomic research in the field of translational medicine.

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