I just finished listening to a pretty great discussion between Jonathan Eisen, whose work I mentioned last month, and Jessica Richman, founder of uBiome (a sort of 23andMe but for the microbiome). It's on the podcast of Tim Ferriss, who I'd never heard of, but is apparently a big deal.

The discussion is wide-ranging, but nicely covers the promise of improvements to human health that might be attained by understanding the microbial denizens of our bodies, but also reins in a lot of the overhyping. Eisen is a consummate science communicator, and his blog The Tree of Life is a must-read if you're at all interested in human microbiology.

I hadn't heard Jessica Richman speak before this, but she is clearly very knowledgable even though she's not a trained microbiologist. And I was impressed that, even though she's got a product to sell, she was as eager to dispel over hype as Eisen was. She said via twitter that they share raw sequence data with users, and I'm tempted to do this, share my data and write up something about how the analysis is done. Then again, it's a bit expensive, and I have access to all the tools to collect and sequence the samples in my own lab (though I doubt my PI would pay for it). Has anyone done this and is willing to share their raw data with me (for science!)?

In any case, the podcast, though long is definitely worth listening to.