On August 20th Nature published a piece asking readers to curb their collective enthusiasm over advancements in the microbiome field. This is a lesson that we at the AMI have heard over and over again from the scientists we talk to. When talking about linking diseases and phenotypes to the microbiome Owen White told us, and I am paraphrasing, "The way the science is currently performed by many researchers, I would be more surprised if an investigator DIDN'T find a connection between the microbiome and whatever he or she was studying!"
This is an important lesson to keep in mind, and it is the reason why so many of the leading microbiome scientists are supporting projects such as the MBQC standardization project and the HSPH microbiome core. These scientists realize that for the microbiome to make a true impact on human health the early stages are critical, and good science needs to be done. It also speaks to the need for high quality journals with rigorous reviewers.
These goals are shared by the AMI. We hope to support the MBQC as it continues to advance and grow. We also will start our own microbiome core (AMICAR) to help researchers ensure the quality of their studies from study design through data analysis.