domingo, 1 de marzo de 2015

Genome Medicine | Full text | Separating the microbiome from the hyperbolome

Genome Medicine | Full text | Separating the microbiome from the hyperbolome

Genome Medicine

Separating the microbiome from the hyperbolome

Fergus Shanahan
Department of Medicine, Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, National University of Ireland, Cork, Republic of Ireland
Genome Medicine 2015, 7:17  doi:10.1186/s13073-015-0143-5
The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:24 February 2015
© 2015 Shanahan; licensee BioMed Central. 
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Editorial summary

Microbiome-based therapies are moving quickly towards the clinic, with successes including fecal microbial transplants for recurring Clostridium difficile, hints of new antibiotics to come, and possible new microbial biomarkers for common complex diseases. Can the microbiome live up to its hype?


“Let us leave theories there and return to here’s here.”
James Joyce, Finnegans Wake[1]
It has become fashionable to advise against overstating the role of the microbiome in health and disease and to warn of the danger of mistaking correlation for causation [2]. Hype and hyperbole hindered science and medicine long before any resurgence of interest in the microbiome, and self-evident nuggets of received wisdom and skepticism should not distract from the success stories and lessons already generated by this field. Indeed, few areas in science have been translated as quickly to therapeutic medicine. Advances range from therapeutic modification of the microbiota with probiotics, antibiotics or fecal microbial transplantation (FMT), to the use of microbial compositional changes as biomarkers of disease risk and the exploration of the microbiota as a repository for natural agents that could be harnessed as therapeutics [3].

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