Topic – Awareness in the fields of bio-technology
5) What do you understand by human microbiome? Why is it important to study human microbiome? Explain the nature of research being carried out in India related to human microbiome?(250 words)
Why this question
Human microbiome is an emerging research area where India has started research and thus awareness about this area is necessary.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Pune hosted an international conference on microbiome research — a field of study that is still in its infancy in India. That could be set to change, with a proposed project that would study and map the human microbiome across the country.
- Explain about microbiome – The human body carries diverse communities of microorganisms, which are mainly bacterial. These are referred to as “human microbiome”. These organisms play a key role in many aspects of host physiology, ranging from metabolism of otherwise complex indigestible carbohydrates and fats to producing essential vitamins, maintaining immune systems and acting as a first line of defense against pathogens.
- Discuss why microbiome are important – Research on the human microbiome has thrown light on various aspects — how different parts of the human body are occupied by characteristic microbial communities, and how various factors contribute in shaping the composition of the microbiome, including the genetics, dietary habits, age, geographic location and ethnicity. These studies laid a strong foundation to decipher the microbiome’s implications on health and a wide range of diseases
- Discuss about the research project in India – Various research groups in the country are working on the human microbiome, Scientists at NCSS have conducted a meta-analysis on gut microbiota of healthy Indian individuals and compared it with that of individuals from other parts of the world. It shows that the Indian population harbours a distinct gut microbial community, which, scientists say, calls for an in-depth investigation of the Indian microbiome. India has a large number of tribal populations largely unaffected by “modern” diet and lifestyle. The prevalence of lifestyle-related disorders such as obesity and diabetes has been known to be significantly lower compared to the non-tribal (urbanised) populations across the globe. Hence, scientists say, a study on the tribal population would help improve knowledge of evolution of the mutualism between gut microbiota and the host.
Conclusion – Conclude by discussing the importance and implication of this research.