In 1665 Robert Hooke and Anton Van Leeuwenhoek discovered the existence of tiny microorganism using microscope magnifying x 25 to x 250 . The microscope was used to understand microbes. Much later other techniques were discovered, such as culturing (the isolation of a specific type of bacteria which will grow on a specific media that supports its growth). Culturing will enable you to find out how does it look like and what does it produce, and to test its sensibility to certain antibiotics. Not all bacteria can be cultured yet, as , as we do not know what certain microbes need to grow. , From the human macrobiome, we are able to culture only 30%. Today culture independent techniques are used to study the microbiome, making use of the DNA, proteins and/or metabolites from the microbiota to understand what microbes are there and what they are capable of doing. A fecal sample can tell you how your microbiota is interacting with your body and ( using informations from proteins and metabolites). You can find out about your food digestion and vitamin production of your microbiome. One of the most used techniques to find out what microbe we deal with is the one using the 16s rRNA gene, a gene found in bacteria and archaea, but missing in humans and other eukaryotes. It has a conserved region that is common to all bacteria and a variable part, specific to every species, and can be used to tell species apart. Using 16s rRNA gene, we can find out which bacteria is present in the sample. Using culture in dependent molecular approaches we can see what they are doing in our bodies.
Another more important group of techniques are known as Omics Techniques. We will find more about these in the next blog post.
Wish you a nice day!