There are a number of ways to create mob programming that are not restricted to video games, and there are even methods that can be used in a lab setting.
A new study in Science Translational Medicine shows how a technique called the 3-D mass spectrometer can help diagnose disease, such as cancer, and also what types of microbes might be lurking in your gut.
The technique could be used to identify the microbial communities that are in our guts and to predict how they will respond to drugs and medical treatments.
In fact, scientists in the study used it to create an interactive, 3-dimensional model of the human gut microbiome.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Science Foundation.
It appears in the October 10 issue of Science Translate.
In a previous study, researchers at Stanford University used 3-dimensions to create a virtual microbiome that mimics the microbiome of a healthy human body, which is called a “microbiome.”
It was also shown that it could be combined with a model of human biology to generate a “phylogenetic tree” of a person’s microbial history.
In the new study, however, the scientists wanted to understand how this kind of data-driven approach could be applied to create new technologies for the diagnosis of disease, and they sought to find the most efficient method of identifying bacteria and other microbes in human samples.
“We wanted to make the most out of our resources,” said study lead author Mark R. Wojciechowski, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford.
“By identifying microbes in samples, we could identify how they are interacting with the host and what their biology is.”
In this study, the researchers were able to create 3-d, 3D models of human gut microbiomes.
“Our goal was to create such a virtual model of a typical human gut that we could use to create the models of other people’s gut microbiome and the model of other species of microbes in a living organism,” Wojcikowski said.
“To do that, we first developed a 3-dimension model of how a person would behave when they were under pressure to consume a meal and how that model would change over time.”
To generate the 3D model, the team developed a software program that allows users to draw their own shapes and fill in their own areas.
The researchers also developed a tool that allows people to use their fingers to draw on the model to create virtual shapes.
The results were able a user to draw the shape of their own gut microbiome, or a model that mimicked it.
The 3- dimensional models of the gut microbiome were then combined with the model generated from the model.
The model generated a tree of the bacteria and the types of organisms that they contained.
The resulting 3- dimension model was then used to predict which bacteria and which types of species would be present in the samples.
The team also created a mathematical model of what would happen if the model was not accurate, but was able to predict what would have happened if the original model was correct.
“If the model were to be wrong, then the real model would not be correct either,” Woyciecho said.
When the model is accurate, the model can be “trained” to predict bacteria and different species of microbe, which can then be used as a reference to determine which microbes would have evolved in a different environment.
“With our 3- and 4-dimensional models, the simulation was able predict which of these two scenarios could have occurred in the past,” Wajcikowskowski added.
“In some sense, the results are more powerful than if we were only modeling the past, which requires a much more complex model.
But we believe that this approach is an important step forward for identifying microbial diversity in our bodies.”
This work was supported by grants from the National Center for Advancing Translating Science, the Department of Defense, the Army Research Office, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Office of Naval Research, and DARPA.