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Hampir 2.000 Bakteri Dalam Usus Manusia

Tim peneliti pada European Bioinformatics Institute dan Wellcome Sanger Institute (European Molecular Biology Laboratory/EMBL), mengidentifikasi hampir 2.000 spesies bakteri yang hidup dalam usus manusia. Spesies-spesies ini belum dibudi-daya pada lab. Tim peneliti menggunakan metode komputer guna menganalisis sampel-sampel bakteri dari berbagai negara di seluruh dunia, khususnya Amerika Utara dan Eropa (European Molecular Biology Laboratory - European Bioinformatics Institute/ EMBL-EBI, 11/2/2019).

“Computational methods allow us to understand bacteria that we cannot yet culture in the lab. Using metagenomics to reconstruct bacterial genomes is a bit like reconstructing hundreds of puzzles after mixing all the pieces together, without knowing what the final image is meant to look like, and after completely removing a few pieces from the mix just to make it that bit harder. Researchers are now at a stage where they can use a range of computational tools to complement and sometimes guide lab work, in order to uncover new insights into the human gut,” ungkap Dr. Rob Finn, Group Leader pada EMBL-EBI.

Hasil riset itu dirilis oleh jurnal Nature edisi awal 2019 (Alexandre Almeida, Alex L. Mitchell, Miguel Boland, Samuel C. Forster, Gregory B. Gloor, Aleksandra Tarkowska, Trevor D. Lawley, Robert D. Finn, “A new genomic blueprint of the human gut microbiota,” Nature, 2019). Usus manusia selalu menjadi rumah banyak spesies mikroba. Dengan metode komputerisasi, peneliti merekonstruksi genome-genome bakteri dalam usus manusia (Science Daily, 11/2/2019).

“Computational methods allow us to get an idea of the many bacterial species that live in the human gut, how they evolved and what kind of roles they may play within their microbial community. In this study, we leveraged the most comprehensive public databases of gastrointestinal bacteria to identify bacterial species that have not been seen before. The analysis methods we used are highly reproducible and can be applied to larger, more diverse datasets in the future, enabling further discovery,” papar Alexandre Almeida, Postdoctoral Fellow pada EMBL-EBI dan Wellcome Sanger Institute.

Riset itu menghasilkan cetak-biru (blueprint) komposisi keragaman bakteri pada usus manusia di seluruh dunia dan membantu para ahli lebih memahami kesehatan manusia dan wabah serta memandu ahli mendiagnosa dan mengobati wabah penyakit usus manusia.  "Research such as this is helping us create a so-called blueprint of the human gut, which in the future could help us understand human health and disease better and could even guide diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases," ungkap Dr. Trevor Lawley, Group Leader pada Wellcome Sanger Institute (EMBL-EBI, 11/2/2019).