The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) is a global initiative to identify and characterize the microorganisms present at multiple sites in the human body. An international team of researchers reports on new ways to harness the results of the HMP and discusses how changes in the microbiome might affect human health, disease, immunity, and importantly, the safety and effectiveness of drug treatment in a Review article that is part of the special issue "OMICS in Africa: Moving 21st Century Integrative Biology from Lab to Village to Innovation Ecosystems," of OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, the peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The issue is available on the OMICS website.
In the article "Pharmacomicrobiomics: The Impact of Human Microbiome Variations on Systems Pharmacology and Personalized Therapeutics," senior author Ramy Karam Aziz and coauthors propose a "microbiome cloud model" to understand the variation in an individual's microbiome composition within and between individuals and how that variability makes it difficult to define the human microbiome. They present detailed examples of microbiome changes related to colorectal cancer, use of antibiotics, and pharmacomicrobiomics or drug-microbiome interactions in relation to personalized healthcare.
In the Commentary "Translating Biotechnology to Knowledge-Based Innovation, Peace, and Development? Deploy a Science Peace Corps - An Open Letter to World Leaders," Nezih Hekim, SANKO University, Turkey and coauthors in 15 countries from around the world joined forces with OMICS Editor-in-Chief Vural Ozdemir, MD, PhD, DABCP Gaziantep University, Faculty of Communications, School of Journalism, Gaziantep Turkey, to call for the creation of a global Science Peace Corps. This idea and initiative would entail volunteer work in life sciences translational research for no less than 6 weeks and up to 2 years in any region of the world. The topics could relate to all fields of medicine "as long as they are linked to potential or concrete endpoints in development, foreign policy and/or peace scholarship domains." The authors describe the proposed Science Peace Corps as a "new instrument in the global science governance toolbox" that would advance "the emerging concept of 'one health' - encompassing human, environmental, plant, microbial, ecosystem, and planet health."
Original research articles in this special issue cover topics of relevance to Africa such as HIV transmission and epidemiology, maternal health, malaria, common complex diseases such as deafness, and policy action for sickle cell anemia that is greatly impacting the African populations.
African science and knowledge-based innovation are central to a deep understanding of pathophysiology, prevention and treatment of human diseases, discovery and development of novel diagnostics, as well as ecosystem health. OMICS Editor-in-Chief Vural Ozdemir summarizes the special issue as "very much in the spirit of the integration we seek to achieve in the Journal - across biotechnologies, their variegated applications in life sciences, and between technology and global society, so that knowledge-based innovations can responsibly integrate at a community level."