How does the gut microbiome affect obesity?
Therefore, there is scientific and medical interest in trying to reverse the microbiome of an obese person, for example through fecal transplantation, in which an obese patient receives gut bacteria from a single person. normal weight donors.
– About 10 years ago, apparently it worked. But how? What exactly is happening? We do not know. According to Daniel Merkle, if we want to find the best treatments, we need to know in detail what’s going on in the gut microbiome and how it responds to treatment.
He is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Southern Denmark, and coordinator of the new research project, MATOMIC, which will develop mathematical models of how gut bacteria affect affect our health.
Traditionally, chemists work in laboratories, but when it comes to finding answers to very large and complex chemical questions such as: How did the first life forms on earth form? or: How do cells work in humans, on a chemical level? Computer models can be a great help.
Examining the entire microbiome is a physically and practically impossible task – understood in the sense that no laboratory method can simultaneously measure all the interactions taking place between the individual enzymes, proteins, and molecules in each microbe found in a person’s microbiome.
As mentioned before, more than 1,000 different species live here, and in total there are more than 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 individual microorganisms in the human intestinal system.
Map all possible chemical reactions
Where laboratory methods are in short supply, math and computer science will contribute, and this is the plan for MATOMIC.
– We are interested in mapping all possible chemical reactions, interactions and networks between these agents. Some responses support others, some inhibit others. Rolf Fagerberg, a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and part of the project, says the number of possible interactions is huge.
What happens at the atomic level?
– We want to create mathematical models and simulate what goes on in the gut – down to the atomic level,” said Jakob Lykke Andersen, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and also is part of the project said.
The team is currently in the process of developing new algorithms and other tools for a new toolbox that will allow researchers to create a virtual gut system where chemical reactions can be tested. and network. Chemists and biochemists participating in MATOMIC will contribute to the development and verification of virtual models.
The project is expected to end with tests on mice – and if successful, they could pave the way for clinical trials in humans.