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Are Microbiome Studies Ready for Hypothesis-Driven Research?

NCJ Number
Current Opinion in Microbiology Volume: 44 Dated: August 2018 Pages: 61-69
Date Published
August 2018
9 pages
Based on the project described in this article, the authors argue that an investment of community resources in infrastructure tasks, and in the controls and standards that underpin them, will greatly enhance the investment in hypothesis-driven research programs.

Hypothesis-driven research has led to many scientific advances, but hypotheses cannot be tested in isolation; rather, they require a framework of aggregated scientific knowledge to allow questions to be posed meaningfully. This framework is largely still lacking in microbiome studies, and the only way to create it is by discovery-driven, tool-driven, and standards-driven research projects. The current project illustrates these issues using several such non-hypothesis-driven projects from the authors' own laboratories, including spatial mapping, the American Gut Project, the Earth Microbiome Project (which is an umbrella project integrating many smaller hypothesis-driven projects), and the knowledgebase-driven tools GNPS and Qiita. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: August 1, 2018