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10th September 2019  Product update: rapidmicrobiology staff writer

Free Microbiome Standards and Spike-In Controls Available to Researchers Worldwide

Zymo Research is providing complimentary microbiome standards and controls to researchers worldwide through 'The Microbiomics Standards & Controls Initiative' which aims to help researchers improve data accuracy and cross-study comparisons.

Because the field of metagenomics has grown rapidly without the use of well-defined controls, data often cannot be replicated from laboratory to laboratory let alone between different studies. To solve the problem of metagenomics data inaccuracy and to improve cross-study comparisons, Zymo Research developed microbiomics standards and controls. To date, Zymo Research has dispersed thousands of their ZymoBIOMICS® Microbial Community Standards and Spike-in Controls free of charge.

There are significant challenges when performing microbiome and metagenomic analyses. These studies require many complex workflow steps, including sample collection, DNA extraction, library preparation, next-generation sequencing, and bioinformatics. Furthermore, biases can be introduced at each step of the workflow process, meaning data can be skewed and the true microbial profile will be misrepresented. For example, the process of extracting DNA from the sampled microbial community is a common source of inaccurate data due to suboptimal lysis of tough-to-lyse microbes. According to Dr. Raul J. Cano, Professor Emeritus of California Polytechnic State University, “Before we can make correlations of microorganisms with a condition, we need to know that the microbiome we have is reflective of reality.”

Well-defined microbial community standards and controls are important to establish the validity, accuracy, and reproducibility of the data collected throughout the entire workflow process. For instance, sequences generated from the ZymoBIOMICS® Microbial Community Standards were accepted by FDA-ARGOS as “Regulatory-Grade Reference Materials” and key opinion leaders throughout the world have adopted these microbial community standards in their microbiomics research. * Even reviewers for scientific publications are beginning to require the use of mock community standards in microbiome experiments.

To receive free microbiome standards and controls for use in metagenomics and microbiomics research go to and sign up.

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Date Published: 10th September 2019

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Note: This content has been edited by a rapidmicrobiology staff writer for style and content.

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