End the duopoly

Virtual metabolic humans, Harvey and Harvetta, novel computational models for personalised medicine

Credit: Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) We are all unique. Our health is determined by our inherent genetic differences combined with our lifestyles and the environments in which we live. This unique identity means that a “one size fits all” approach is no longer accepted as the best way to manage our individual health. There is a demand for new “personalised” approaches to better manage our health and to target therapies to achieve optimum health outcomes.

By combining and analysing information about our genome, with other clinical and diagnostic information, patterns can be identified that can help to determine our individual risk of developing disease, detect illness earlier and determine the most effective interventions to help improve health, be they medicines, lifestyle choices, or even simple changes in diet.

Researchers, led by Prof Ines Thiele, a Principal Investigator at APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre, who is based in National University of Ireland, Galway, have developed whole-body computational models—Harvey and Harvetta. These virtual humans represent whole-body metabolism, physiology, diet and the gut microbiome. These new models successfully predict known biomarkers of inherited metabolic diseases and enable exploration of potential metabolic interactions between humans and their gut microbiomes at a personal level.

Precision, or […]

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