American Gut

by American Gut Project (UC San Diego)

Organization campaign Keep it all San Diego, CA, US

World's largest open-source science project to understand the microbial diversity of the Human Gut. Learn which microbes live in your gut, skin & mouth. Join over 9,000 people, get a home sampling kit and support the research. See the whole story


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The Human Microbiome Project and other microbiome projects worldwide have laid an important foundation for understanding the trillions of microbes that inhabits each of our bodies. However, opportunities for the public to get involved in such research has been limited. Now, American Gut gives you an opportunity to join this research project and to compare the microbes in your gut to those in the guts of thousands of other people in the US and around the world. American Gut is a project built on open-source, open-access principles. Our data are for the good of understanding and will be shared both with participants and with other scientists. Our experience has been that our best ideas and work come when we involve people in as many steps of our work as possible, be they scientists, educators, roofers, ultra-marathon runners or corporate leaders. Everyone has something to offer, whether their sample, their hypotheses, their analyses or their dog (yes, their dog, we will get back to that). The more we can understand the complex microbial ecosystems on which we depend, the more everyone will benefit.

A few important points to remember before joining this research project:

1. Note 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.

2. It’s simple to join: send $99 to the project. Once you receive your kit(s), you will be required to a) sign an online consent form and b) fill out an online questionnaire. If either are not signed or filled out, we cannot perform the microbiome analysis. Your payment will only be refunded if requested explicitly. Remember, the online "consent and questionnaire" forms are part of the American Gut portal NOT something you sign with Fundrazr when you join the research project. If you decide that you no longer wish to continue in this study, you will be requested to contact the American Gut Project helpline ( to inform us of your intent to withdraw. If your sample has not been processed you may request a refund which will be processed through the site where you contributed to the project (PayPal).

3. 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.

If you live in the UK or anywhere else in Europe, visit our sister site British Gut to join this research project.

1. See how your microbiome compares to others and learn how your diet & lifestyle may shape your gut microbiome. Thousands have enrolled already.
2. International participants welcome. However, please add $25 to your payment for shipping kits. Also be aware that you will need to FEDX your sample back to University of Colorado-Boulder. This could get pricey. So please make note of this before joining the study. (Folks in the UK click here)
3. Our team has sequenced thousands of samples from all over the world
4. Once you sign up, you will receive a swab kit in the mail within 4-6 weeks.
5. Visit us to get more details and learn how you can join this important study.

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