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Stool microRNA profiling— dumpster diving for a master marker?
  1. Anna Heintz-Buschart
  1. Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam Faculty of Science, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anna Heintz-Buschart, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam Faculty of Science, 1098 XH Amsterdam, Netherlands; a.u.s.heintzbuschart{at}

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The human gut constitutes a complex, dynamic ecosystem of trillions of microbial cells whose impact on their host’s health has been recognised in recent years. Moreover, inconceivable changes in gut physiology and the subsequent adaptations of the microbiome may offer a route to early diagnosis of diseases that are increasingly more difficult to treat the later they are detected and to monitor health in general. However, the released microbial cells may not hold the only informative molecules in stool. In Gut, Tarallo et al 1 combine gut microbiome profiling with an analysis of the stool microRNA profiles of the same healthy individuals. They investigate relationships between the two and their combined potential as biomarkers.

There is great potential in improving one’s health by taking good care of one’s microbes. Hence, the microbiome’s interactions with the immune system, diet and a multitude of other host factors are a field of lively study. It is becoming clear that the microbiome modulates the health effects of life styles, and especially of diet. Mechanisms of this modulation are being discovered. Moreover, the intimate relationship of the microbiome with its host …

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  • Contributors AH-B wrote the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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