Metatranscriptomics (abbreviated “MTX”) is a powerful method for measuring the gene expression (functional activity) of many members of a microbial community all at the same time by using shotgun DNA sequencing technology. In a recent review article, the Huttenhower Lab surveys the state-of-the-art in this rapidly growing field and make recommendations for incorporating MTX in microbiome studies. For example, what bioinformatics methods are most appropriate for analyzing MTX sequencing data, and how do they differ from traditional community DNA sequence analysis? The authors explore many questions in detail with examples from successful prior MTX studies of the human microbiome and beyond. The article provides a rich resource for scientists looking to get started in the field of MTX as well as a positive vision for the future of the field.
Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe: The Importance of Microbes to Human HealthIn a recent podcast by the Centre for Inquiry Canada, Emma Allen-Vercoe talks about the importance of microbiome research and how she became involved in the OPTIMISTICC project.