The Microbiome “Clock:” How Microbiota Change with Age

August 19, 2022

How do we Study the Microbiome?

The human microbiome refers to the bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms that live symbiotically with and within the human body. Collectively, the microbiome is essential for normal physiological function, and can also provide clues about our health including cancer biomarkers and indicators for common diseases like IBS.

To characterize the microbiome, researchers are increasingly relying on genomic sequencing technologies. Recent improvements in long-read sequencing allow novel or rare microbial species to be more easily identified, and the overall lower costs of sequencing make this an appealing option, particularly when using single-cell sequencing.

Microbiota Change With Age

As our understanding of the microbiome has improved, an interesting pattern has emerged. In a recent paper in Nature, Martino et. al. explore “microbiota succession,” the phenomenon of the composition of the microbiome being closely related to age. They identified clear microbial profiles associated with early, middle, and late life stages from seven regions of the body specifically.

This novel feature of the microbiome will no doubt open up new avenues for age-related research, and underscores the fact that we have only scratched the surface of understanding the human microbiome and its implications for our health. Continuing lines of research in microbial genomics will provide further biological insights for the roles of these microorganisms in disease.

Outsourcing Bioinformatics Analysis

The ever-growing volumes of genomic data produced by large-scale genomic studies like those in microbiome genomics require high-quality storage and reproducible data analysis pipelines. Our experts at Bridge Informatics can tailor custom cloud infrastructure and genomic analysis for your project needs, improving outcomes and reducing challenges for your team. Book a free discovery call today.

Jane Cook, Journalist & Content Writer, Bridge Informatics

Jane is a Content Writer at Bridge Informatics, a professional services firm that helps biotech customers implement advanced techniques in management and analysis of genomic data. Bridge Informatics focuses on data mining, machine learning, and various bioinformatic techniques to discover biomarkers and companion diagnostics. If you’re interested in reaching out, please email or


Learn how researchers are using bioinformatics to study the human microbiome and its role in health and disease.

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