Lightweight sneakers, energy bars, high protein cereals, electrolyte cocktails- all of these promise the performance of a star athlete but rarely do the customers get even close to the peak level performance of those athletes. Even though billions are spent in sales, there is no satisfying example of performance through these sales. However, a professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School may have a solution that these products fail to provide. The answer is in the gut of these athletes. The bacteria in our gut affect all our key organ functions, and the microbiome plays a role in health, development, and wellness, including endurance, recovery and mental aptitude. The Genetics professor has thought to tap into this gut bacteria of elite athletes to produce customized probiotics ― which might just provide the performance everyone promises, but fail to deliver. George Church, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, professor of health sciences and technology at Harvard & MIT, and founding core member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, The Wyss team have identified unique differences in the microbiome between elite athletes and non-athletes, as well as bacteria that change before, during, and after athletic events. They are looking to sign up 100 elite athletes across the globe to develop an exclusive bank of bacterial samples and related data. They Wyss team will leverage their expertise in genome sequencing technology and microbiology to continue to identify and isolate promising bacterial species. Ultimately they will purify these novel probiotics and commercialize them as ingredients in ingestible products.
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