In the last 15 years, DNA sequencing has literally gotten a million times cheaper. This, according to the University of California, San Diegoâ€™s Rob Knight, who is a world leader in the study of the microbiome, which is the collection of microorganisms and their genetic material in or on the human body or in another environment.
"Part of the reason that weâ€™re finding so much out about the microbiome at the moment, is the cost of DNA sequencing dropped by about a fraction of a million in the last 15 years. And you probably wouldnâ€™t pay $100 million to find out what was in your own gut, or the gut of your dog, or your cat â€“ but you might well pay $100."
Knight says this has led to a large number of studies, including one he cofounded called The American Gut Project, which is a crowdsourced, crowdfunded initiative in which anyone can contribute mouth, skin or gut samples from themselves, family members or even their dogs.
"Whatâ€™s going to be really exciting is when it gets to the point where every middleschooler, instead of doing a project where they just look at the mold growing in their fridge, they can sequence the DNA of that mold and find out what it really is."
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