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HerbSprout Microbiome Blog -


Herbsprout is a webblog and podcast dedicated to sharing the health benefits of herbs, food, innovations, and our gut microbiome. Herbsprout seeks to bridge the vast chasm dividing the mainstream medical community, alternative medicine, and Asian medicine, especially of China (TCM), India (Ayurveda), and Japan (eJim & Kampo).

Profile: Viome’s Genetic Code Principles

Viome expands on the genetic code principles. Viome is a personalized “life optimization” healthcare solution using complex biological data and the most advanced, cutting edge technology originating from Los Alamos Laboratory. Viome takes highly customized information about how the body functions at a molecular and microscopic level. In addition to the aforementioned data driven analyses, there are three pillars to the Viome solution, according to their website (see, using microbiome gene expression, gut metabolites, metabolome, and genetics. Here is a step-by-step overview of the Viome solution:

1) SCIENCE: Viome conducts a comprehensive metabolome and microbiome analysis (of their customer’s stool sample) resulting in high resolution complex biological data at a molecular level using a cost effective proprietary process.

2) DATA: Viome processes the customer's samples in their state- of- the- art facilities to help generate a picture of your body at a molecular level. The company combines that with their doctor-trained artificial intelligence (AI) engine to generate actionable diet, exercise, and nutrient recommendations.

3) INSIGHT: Viome offers an artificially intelligent, contextually relevant recommendation engine.

Why Viome is a leader in healthcare innovation is partly because it recognizes that the lion's share of a person's genetics resides in their gut, a whopping upwards of 90%! No other company has achieved the breadth of genetic makeup in the gut that Viome has and nor as deep and extensive data analysis of the microbial content of the body.

1. Outside Disruptors - Besides the revolutionary disruptive nature of their research, a few business takeaways here are that marketplace disruptions as in the case of Viome, can come from industry outsiders like Naveen Jain.

1. Research Incubation - Technologies such as the military from Los Alamos labs and other major research-based institutions and universities are evolving to become leading incubators to driving the entrepreneurial innovations. Pre-existing technologies and creations at the academic and laboratory level are common sources of marketplace innovations in healthcare, as in the case of Jain’s Viome, Silicon Valley's CRISPR Caribou Biosciences, and BioHub. This again reinforces the assertion that disruptive innovations can come from anywhere.

1. D2C Applications - Direct-to-consumer (D2C) applications which remove middlemen such as those of Viome and Ubiome offer more efficient and cost effective solution for health care consumers. It is not always about "reinventing the wheel" as it is "'repurposing' or 're- imagining' the wheel", as Jain likes to say. Technology and ideas can be repurposed for another business sector and be a disruptive innovation.

Circling back to the original themes of this chapter, Viome and the study of the enteric nervous system, gut microbiome research, and applying it to personalized healthcare, has effectively created what may be greatest disruptive innovation of this generation.

Viome’s Metatranscriptome Sequencing.
It is easy for a consumer to confuse different approaches to microbiome testing. Hopefully, the following chart will shed some light on the key differences. Viome has invested extensively in a new form of microbiome sequencing called Metatranscriptome Sequencing as opposed to competitor like Ubiome (now in bankruptcy), Illumina and other 16S Sequencing companies:

Head-to-Head Comparison of Microbiome Testing:

16S Sequencing:

● Identifies only a fraction of your gut bacteria; unable to identify nonbacterial microorganisms
● Low resolution (genus level only)
● Does not determine microbe function
● Unreliable; sequencing the same sample twice can yield very different results
● Unable to identify microbial metabolites, which are key for maintaining health
● Low resolution and lack of functional data preclude any actionable recommendations

Viome’s Meta-Transcriptome Sequencing:

● Identifies all bacteria and all other living organisms in your gut: viruses, archaea, yeast, fungi, parasites, and bacteriophages2
● High resolution (species & strain level)
● Quantifies the biochemical activities of all gut microorganisms
● Unbiased analysis, minimized variation in results
● Identifies which metabolites are being produced and which are missing
● Allows correlation of microbes and their functions with common chronic conditions, so actionable recommendations can be made

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