Welcome to the MicroBiome Quality Control (MBQC) project. The human microbiome has the potential to become one of the most important new tools for personalized health and precision medicine. In order to transition from a basic research environment to the clinic, technologies and computational methods for assessing human-associated microbial communities must be standardized and quality controlled. Inspired by progress in related areas such as the gene expression microarray (MAQC), the MBQC is a collaborative effort to comprehensively evaluate methods for measuring the human microbiome. This includes tools for sampling human-associated microbes at different body sites, techniques and protocols for handling human microbiome samples, and computational pipelines for microbiome data processing. We hope to improve the state-of-the-art in each of these areas and promote open sharing of standard operating procedures and best practices throughout the field. Everyone is welcome to participate in the MBQC.
The MBQC is currently piloting two of the several steps typically used to obtain and analyze the human microbiome. If you run a research team that would like to participate in assessing either sample handling or bioinformatics protocols, please click on the link above to register for one or both tasks. The pilot project is designed to accommodate a variety of sample and nucleotide handling protocols, and we expect most teams will be able to participate with minimal changes to established lab operating procedures. However, be sure to read the module protocols carefully before registering to ensure compatibility and documentation, and we ask that each team commit to handle samples or data in complete increments of 96.