Earlier we have compared the AgeCurve style first-to-market personal proteome kit to personal genome and personal microbiome services. Today we highlight and explain one big difference implicit in those comparisons. For this we need to introduce the term holobiont: holobionts are units of biological organisations composed of the host organism and its associated microbes. The prefix holo- is a derivative of the Greek term holos, meaning entire or whole. For instance, in the case of the human holobiont it includes the human host (its tissues, cells, molecules) and its various and largely permanent microbial guests: bacteria, viruses, fungi. The important lesson we have learned in the last decade from large scale scientific microbiome studies is that it’s better to consider the holobiont as the autonomic entity when addressing many scientific questions involving normal phenomena and pathological processes too.
One distinctive offering behind AgeCurve’s direct-to-user application in the personal omics space comes from the fact that it measures the oral chunk of the human holobiont. As opposed to this personal genome services capture and report human host DNA only, while DNA-based personal microbiome services capture and report only associated guest microbes.
The underlying reason boils down to the fact that mass spectrometry based proteomics can detect, sequence, identify and quantify both human and bacterial proteins at the same measurement. This feature gives a unique window to the functioning human holobiont, that is us.