College of Food, Ag & Nat Res Sci
Examining bacteria populations within the large intestine of mammals (the microbiome) has become of tremendous interest. These researchers focus on how different dietary treatments affect such populations. They are currently examining the effect of a new type of dietary fiber, polylactose, on the microbiome. MSI's computing resources are extremely important in analyzing the bacterial DNA sequence data obtained from the University of Minnesota Genomics Center that are used to identify the genus and species of bacteria present in the microbiome.
A second area of interest is understanding what changes occur in different species of microRNA (miRNA) in the colonic mucosa of carcinogen-treated animals exposed to different dietary interventions, and how these changes may influence different metabolic pathways related to colon cancer. This project uses Integrated Pathway Analysis software available through MSI.
Both of these activities will help further our understanding how diet can reduce colon cancer risk, and by what mechanism this may occur.