Very fine tuning of suggestions to modify the microbiome

A reader reported a bug with the manual selection of which taxa to modify page that I did a while back. As a result, I smooth the flow and also realized that I need to allow a wider search for modifiers since the bacteria selected may have few modifiers — especially when a species or strain is selected.

Quick Recap on how to Manual Select bacteria taxa

This is done via the “My Biome View” button from the Samples Page

On this page, you can select which taxa you wish to have included in the suggestions. You make the choices entirely.

Click the button and you will return to the Sample Page and a new button will appear:

This takes you to the usual custom suggestion page (except most of the bacteria filters are hidden — after all, you have hand picked them!)

Note the new choices with emojis!

Parent and children Modifiers are being added

Bacteria is reported in a hierarchy, the next level up is the parent, the next level down are the childern

Above you see that the Parent of Oscillibacter is Oscillospiraceae. Things reported to modify the parent will likely modify its children. The key work is likely. A modifier may reduce Marseillibacter but not Oscillibacter; we lack the studies.

Similarly, the three children of Oscillibacter may have items that modify them. One would expect that if something reduces one of the children then Oscillibacter would be reduced too! Again the key word is likely.

On the Reference pages for Bacteria, you will now see three icons

IF we have 10 or more modifier documented to change this bacteria, we do not include the parent or the children. If we have less than 10 then we include this additional information (giving it a reduced weight reflecting the greater uncertainty).

Often you may see that the same item appears at two levels

Bottom Line

Do not ask me what is the right way to get suggestions. We do not know. What I can provide are tools that will generate suggestions is a logical manner. This latest addition extends the prior choices by:

  • Allowing you to hand pick the taxa from your sample, one by one
  • Allows you to extend the list of modifiers by asking to include items that modify its children (i.e. Lactobacillus Fermentum CQPC04 modifiers would be added to Lactobacillus Fermentum , OR/and its parent (i.e. Lactobacillus) if we have sparse information on how to modify it.

I expect only a few people will make use of this; but it is there if you want absolute control.