Episode 8 of The Microbiome Podcast: The vaginal microbiome and the announcement of a new citizen science project with Dr. Jacques Ravel

This week's episode of The Microbiome Podcast featured Dr. Jacques Ravel from the University of Maryland School of Medicine talking about the vaginal microbiome. We all also talked about a new project that Dr. Ravel helped start called Your Private Biome, an open source citizen science project designed to help researchers get a better understanding of how all the bacteria in women’s vaginas – the vaginal microbiome - affects their health. The new project launched today, June 1st, and the AMI is sponsoring free sampling for a number of women and possibly her partner or family members. If you'd like to learn more, click hereRemember to call in to ask any questions about the microbiome that you would like answered on future podcasts. The number is 518-945-8583. 

Listen to the podcast here on our website, here on iTunes, and here on Stitcher

For more detailed show notes, read below:

  • (1:20) The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit ideas from various stakeholders on the future needs of microbiome research. Read the RFI.
  • (2:55) A recent paper out of Curtis Huttenhower’s laboratory describing how microbiome samples could be traced back to their hosts and if this could be used to track individuals related to forensics and other applications. Read the paperRead our blog post on the paper
  • (5:22) We begin our conversation with Dr. Jacques Ravel. Read more about Dr. Ravel’s research
  • (5:47) Dr. Jacques Ravel gives an introduction to the vaginal microbiome. Read more about his research laboratory at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
  • (8:23) Dr. Ravel mentions a paper by Dr. Larry Forney about the vaginal microbiome of adolescent girls. Read the paper.  
  • (20:10) Other health issues related the microbiome such as bacterial vaginosis and STDs.
  • (30:30) A new citizen science project called Your Private Biome that offers women as well as their partners and families that allows women to sample their vaginal microbiome. Read more about Your Private Biome
  • (34:59) A paper on circumcision and it’s influence on bacterial load on the penis. Read the paper
  • (40:40) On the after show, David and Bill talk about their own health issues, specifically allergies.
  • (46:15) During our conversation of Bill’s cat allergies, we mention the Kitty Microbiome. Learn more here.

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