“We’re thrilled to see our kits being used creatively to advance STEM education, particularly as it relates to student engagement through the study of the microbiome.” -- Jessica Richman, PhD, co-founder and CEO at uBiome.
SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) April 13, 2018
In a study recently published by the prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journal, PLOS ONE, a group of Brigham Young University professors set out to test if student engagement in scientific courses could be enhanced through the use of personal microbiome analysis.
For the study, the professors monitored the behavior of juniors and seniors from 400-level science courses. Students were either provided with a 5-site uBiome Explorer kit, from which they received their individual microbiome results from uBiome, or were given demo microbiome results for use in course assignments and activities. The professors compared the engagement, comprehension, and attitude of the students in each group, and hypothesized that students with access to their own microbiome data would be more engaged and motivated to learn.
The students were asked to participate in a survey throughout the microbiome analysis process. Results demonstrated that students who had used their own biological data spent 31 percent more time researching the microbiome than those who had chosen to use the demo data. The survey further reflected a positive increase in those students’ attitudes and engagement in general course work.
“Whenever you can have students looking at something about themselves, it increases their desire to understand and also hopefully what they take away from the class,” said study co-author Steve Johnson, professor of microbiology and molecular biology at BYU.
“The Explorer kit students obtained for this study uses uBiome’s precision sequencing™ platform, a patented combination of full metagenomic and marker-based sequencing, that allows users to see more of their microbiome,” said Jessica Richman, PhD, co-founder and CEO at uBiome. “We’re thrilled to see our kits being used creatively to advance STEM education, particularly as it relates to student engagement through the study of the microbiome.”
You may read the full manuscript of the study conducted by BYU professors on the open-access PLOS ONE site.
Founded in 2012, uBiome is the world’s leading microbial genomics company, with a mission to explore important research questions about the microbiome and develop reliable, accurate products and services focused on the microbiome. uBiome is funded by Y Combinator, Andreessen Horowitz, and 8VC, as well as other leading investors, and has received widespread recognition including the CNN 10: Startups to Watch, the IVY Technology Award, CNN Future 30, and was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Healthcare in 2016 and in Data Science in 2018.