American Gut
$1,946,051 raised
12834 contributors
7 Years running

Kit Fulfillment Notice

We are currently not able to supply any of our regular collection kits. 

Any general contributions made using the orange "Contribute" button will be counted only as a donation, not as an exchange for a kit.

The Microsetta Initiative and its subsidiaries, including the American Gut Project, have pivoted to COVID-19 research and are revising our kits to support this effort. We are working as hard as we can, but please be patient as these changes have required a complete overhaul of our infrastructure.  If you are interested in these kits, please fill out this sign up form and we will be sending you updates on kit availability : https://mailchi.mp/ucsd/microsettakitinterest

In addition, we are in urgent need of funding to support these research endeavors. We are part of the UC San Diego School of Medicine. We are actively working with frontline workers, sharing limited resources, and engaged with the broader San Diego research network studying all aspects of this virus and disease. Please consider making a donation directly: https://go.ucsd.edu/2QlTi8n

More information about these recent changes can be found in the UC San Diego News: https://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/feature/call-for-citizen-scientists-to-contribute-to-covid-19-studies

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The American Gut Project is a part of the Microsetta Initiative, with the mission of collecting microbiome samples and rich phenotypic data from populations across the globe.

The Human Microbiome Project and other microbiome projects worldwide have laid an important foundation for understanding the trillions of microbes that inhabit our bodies and their impact on health and disease. However, opportunities for the public to get involved in such research have been limited. Now, American Gut gives you an opportunity to join this research project and learn what’s living on and inside you.

American Gut is a project built on the open-source, open-access principles of the Earth Microbiome Project. The data we collect is de-identified and then deposited into open repositories for the benefit of other researchers and scientists.  By participating in our project, you can help contribute to research that will help the world understand how the microbiome affects our health. In exchange for your participation, we generate a report summarizing the types of microbes observed in your sample, and how your sample relates to other people in the study.

While American Gut mainly focuses on the gut as this is where most of our microbes reside, we will also look at areas like the oral and skin, as these areas of the body also contain microorganisms.

Some examples of what we have found using our data:

Younger children tend to have more proteobacteria composing their microbiome.  As you grow older, the diversity of your microbiome increases.
(Based off our preliminary findings in 2014, found
here)

There’s a significant difference between the types of bacteria found in industrialized populations vs. non-industrialized populations.
McDonald et al. mSystems . May 2018. DOI: 10.1128/mSystems.00031-18

If You Live in the U.S.: 

Joining is simple! Select the kit you would like from the list of options on the right-hand side by clicking “Claim this perk” (if you would like to receive a certain number of kits that isn’t listed as a perk, email us at info@americangut.org). Your kit will arrive via USPS or FedEx within 2 weeks after payment, unless you have added the “Priority Shipping” perk along with your kit.

 

If You Live in Europe:

Visit our sister site, British Gut, to join.

 

If You Live in Australia or Singapore:

While we do have sites set up in Australia and Singapore (known as Australian Gut and Asian Gut respectively), we ask that participants contribute an additional $25 on top of their contribution, which covers an international shipping fee . These sites allow participants to send their samples back to a local site, which then sends the samples back to our lab in the U.S. to reduce the costs of shipping.

If you live in Australia or Singapore and would like to participate, claim a perk.  The next page will have an option to "top off" your contribution with an additional amount, which you will use to add in the $25 to mark your kit to go out. If you do not include the $25 shipping fee, your kit will not be sent out until we have received it.

Once we have received your transaction, we will forward your information to our collaborators. They will then send out a kit to you, which you will receive within 3 weeks .

Please note that the  r eturn time for results will take significantly longer than the expected 3 months for Australian/Asian Gut participants. The reason is that we have to bulk ship samples on dry ice back to our lab at UC San Diego.  This costs thousands of dollars per shipment, so it’s only feasible to do once enough samples are ready to ship.

 

If You Live Anywhere Else: 

International participants are also welcome to join. An additional $25 international shipping fee also applies (which you would add as an additional contribution after claiming a perk), along with other regulations.  If you do not include the $25 shipping fee, your kit will not be sent out until we have received it.

We also ask that samples are shipped back to our lab within 48 hours of being collected. The cost of shipping to our lab in the U.S. from some locations can be expensive, so it is recommended that you look into the cost of return shipping (it is highly suggested to use FedEx as it is more reliable).

If you are interested in learning the process of our project from start to finish, we have a video available here.

Each kit contains a sample tube (or more, if ordered), an instruction manual on how to register your kit and take a sample, credentials to access our participant website, and return envelope(s) to send your sample back.

Your results will provide a general overview of how your microbial profile compares to other participants ( these results are not intended to be medically actionable, and we cannot provide any personalized interpretation ). You will also receive a list of the microorganisms found in your sample and their relative abundances (based at the genus level).  Results are uploaded via our participant website, which you will get access to once you register your kit.

  1. For stool samples, it will take about 3-4 months for you to receive your results, and longer for those who are participating outside the U.S. (due to shipping procedures to send samples back to our lab, which is based at the University of California San Diego).  It takes significantly longer (6+ months) to receive results if you submit one of the following sample types: Oral or skin samples.

  2. A desktop computer or laptop is recommended to register and log your sample into our participant portal website, as our participant website has compatibility issues on mobile devices and tablets.  The best browser to use when you register your kit is Google Chrome .

  3. Note that your de-identified information will be part of a research study and will be made available in a publicly available research database. That is, any personal information that might easily identify who you are will be removed before being placed in the public database.

  4. If you decide that you no longer wish to continue in this study, please send a request to the American Gut Project help account ( info@americangut.org ) to inform us of your intent to withdraw. You may request a refund within 50 days of your original payment if you have not yet used your kit. Please note that the Fundrazr transaction fee will be deducted from your refund.

  5. The consent forms are maintained on the participant website; details are included in your kit. To sign the consent form, you must agree to use an electronic format for your signature in accordance with the United States' eSIGN Act and California's UETA Act. You have the right to obtain the electronic record in a non-electronic form.

  6. The results you receive from submitting a sample are not meant to act as medical or health diagnoses . We will not be able to provide any clinical or medical information and recommendations from your results.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at info@americangut.org.

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Show Discontinued Perks
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