Researchers at the University of Oslo will examine 5000 poop diapers in the world’s biggest bacterial examination of the baby stool. The aim is to examine how bacteria evolve inside the intestine the first year of life.
– We have one of the largest baby poop collections in the world, says researcher Eric de Muinck to NRK.
Babies are born with no intestinal bacteria, however when they approach their first anniversary, the bacterial diversity is equally to adults. The composition may have a major impact on their health.
While other studies has received samples from many babies, but few from each, Muinck and his colleagues at the University of Oslo have followed a handful of babies.
With help from parents of infants, they have collected feces from 13 anonymous babies every day for a whole year.
He call himself “The poo delivery man”. After the parents have taken out samples, they put them in the freezer. Equipped with dry ice, Muinck has collected the temperature sensitive samples.
5,000 DNA samples of baby poop should reveal how bacteria in the intestine of infants change.
– We want to see whether vaccination has any effect on the intestinal flora. Bacteria has been linked to both the development of allergies, type 1 diabetes and even autism, says Muinck.
The DNA analysis will be used to create a mathematical model that can provide a greater insight into the ecological balance in the intestines.
To calculate the correlation between all genes, researchers must turn to Norway’s fastest machine, the supercomputer Abel at the University of Oslo. It is ten thousand times faster than a regular PC.
The researchers have high hopes to learn much new about the ecological balance in the intestines, and how the bacterial groups interact.
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews