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Bond over gastrointestinal bacteria

A new social network launched Thursday offers a one-of-a-kind niche: gastrointestinal issues.



A German nonprofit called MyMicrobes is hoping you'll want to have your gastrointestinal bacteria's genomes sequenced for the price of about 1,500, a fee which grants you access to their social network.

Peer Bork, a biochemist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, is behind the project, which aims to gather meaningful data via its social network. To achieve this, MyMicrobes reports it will need to grow to at least 5,000 participants.

Bork said in an interview with the journal Nature that the actual cost of sequencing the gut genome is pricey, about 2,000 per person. Participants are asked to contribute some of that cost, plus shipping.

If you'd like to sequence some genomes without breaking the bank, genomic company 23andMe offers a testing kit to analyze your DNA and gain insight to your risk factors for certain diseases. Price is $99.

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