This set of two illustrations was produced for the UK charity GutsUK, an organisation that funds research into digestive disorders. They also produce patient information leaflets on diseases of the digestive system to aid in the understanding of these chronic diseases.
I was delighted to be approached by GutsUK to provide a couple of illustrations for a new leaflet that they were creating that aims to describe commercial microbiome testing and the reality of what these tests can provide in terms of information regarding the microbiome and health. Below are the two illustrations. The first one is an overall picture of the microbiome and how it interacts with our host cells – in this case it is a bacterium providing metabolites to epithelial cells. The second is a take on microbiome profiling using DNA sequencing technologies. DNA is extracted from faceal samples and sequenced. Knowing the sequences allows us to determine which bacteria are present and at what relative abundance.