What is the Asian Gut Project?

Based in Singapore, the Asian Gut project is part of the American Gut, a crowd-sourced citizen science research project based out of the University of California, San Diego. The goal of American Gut (including British Gut, Australian Gut, and Asian Gut) is to identify meaningful associations between the microbiome and human health or disease. By participating in the project as a citizen scientist, you have the opportunity to learn about your own gut microbiome while providing useful research data into the greater American Gut Project cohort. Your anonymised data-together with all American Gut participant data-is uploaded to an openly available ftp site and the processes used to analyze your data are freely available on GitHub so any researcher around the world-or even you-can analyze the data and mine for answers to important research questions. This is the most effective way to help improve both your individual and the global scientific understanding of the human gut microbiome.


What is the relation with the American and British Gut Projects?

Asian Gut is affiliated with the American Gut Project by acting as a sample aggregation site to reduce the cost of shipping for international participants and facilitate participation in the project. A second aggregation site exists in Australia, while a sister project serving Europe, the British Gut Project, is based out of the U.K. Given that Asia has the world’s largest and most gut health conscious population, you have the unique opportunity to improve our scientific understanding of this untapped area-the Asian gut.


What parts of Asia do you cover?

At launch we are only covering Singapore as this is our home base. As we assess demand and streamline our operations we will expand to other countries in Asia. However, anyone in any country can sign up for the American Gut Project; those who do so should expect to cover the sometimes high cost of international shipping back to the United States.


What happens to my data?

We protect the privacy of your data by de-identifying your sample(s). This means that your name, address, and other identifying information are kept under lock and key on our secure servers, which have been assessed and approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of California, and are NEVER released. We link your dietary and lifestyle information to your sample through a unique, randomly generated barcode, and the researchers that work with American Gut data can see only this barcode as a means of identifying individual samples.


Why the gut?

The microbial community in the human large intestine, at up to 100 billion to one trillion cells per milliliter, is among the densest microbial ecosystems ever observed. The gut microbiome acts as a highly efficient bioreactor, helping to extract energy and nutrients from the food we eat. Like the microbial communities elsewhere on the body, the gut microbiome protects against pathogens and is in constant communication with the immune system.


Can I provide a different sample besides the stool?

Certainly! While most participants are interested in their gut microbiome, you can sample your skin, your mouth, your pet, your food, or pretty much anything else you can think of. The more different types of data and samples we collect, the better we can understand the microbiome!


What are your partner websites? Do they have FAQs too?

Both our partner websites have comprehensive FAQs that might also answer your questions:


My question isn’t answered here. How can I contact you?

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