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Tutor profile: Zemirah L.

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Zemirah L.
Academic Librarian - Health Sciences Research Specialist
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Questions

Subject: Nursing

TutorMe
Question:

I have a patient who did an at-home Viome microbiome test and I'm trying to assess the validity of their science. I've exhausted the search functions with which I'm familiar, but I still haven't found anything. Would anyone be able to help me?

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Zemirah L.
Answer:

I’ve found some information about the science behind Viome on their website here: https://www.viome.com/our-science?refcode=ga2&gclid=CjwKCAjw7anqBRALEiwAgvGgm34BrunCj3sYEHPwvtu74XSGHTloRL-4KXI2B41cPYgSLe_ej0H6kRoCRjUQAvD_BwE Because Viome is a proprietary product, obviously their science isn’t made public. Their chart comparing Viome’s Metatranscriptomic Sequencing compares it against what other companies might have used in the past, 16S Gene Sequencing and Metagenomic Analysis. If you conduct a search in PubMed for keyword/term “(metatranscriptomic OR metatranscriptome) AND sequencing” and limit to articles published within the last 5 years, you get about 269 results. See search results here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?cmd=historysearch&querykey=1 If you wondered about the science behind metatranscriptomic sequencing, a search like this would give you some idea of what’s been done and the scope of the work and validity of the results in an arena of published peer-reviewed literature. But since Viome is a product itself (and still relatively new) there isn’t much by way of published research on this. This would be like searching for the effectiveness of Tylenol instead of searching for something like “acetaminophen”. I did manage to find one pre-print (not peer-reviewed) but details a “trial” of sorts using Viome’s products (funded by Viome itself) here: Hatch, A., Horne, J., Toma, R., Twibell, B. L., Somerville, K. M., Pelle, B., … Vuyisich, M. (2019, January 18). A robust metatranscriptomic technology for population-scale studies of diet, gut microbiome, and human health. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/8vd6x However, read with caution, because you should consider the bias since it’s Viome’s own study. You can also see an open peer-review of the article (which seems like it’s relatively hot as it’s been downloaded 559 times already at the time I write this) which openly critiques and acknowledges the science behind this particular study here: https://microbiomedigest.com/2019/04/25/a-review-of-the-recent-viome-preprint/ Feel free to read through this article’s open critiques but the summary of findings on the results of the one published study by Viome is as follows: Summary of findings In summary, the strengths of this paper are the experiments showing that the Viomega technique is reproducible. That is a great paper by itself, but the current title and abstract are promising much more than the paper currently delivers. With a transcriptomics dataset of 10,000 stool samples, and repeated claims that transcriptomics will give much more functional insight than just a list of taxa, it is disappointing to see that the results are limited to microbial taxon prevalence and not any functional analysis. Based on this paper, Viome’s claims that their test can connect the microbiome transcriptome to a subject’s diet – let alone give dietary advice – appear to be very far-fetched. Does this help? Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to assist you.

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

How do I include autobiographical information in APA manuscript format?

Inactive
Zemirah L.
Answer:

There is not a definitive answer for this question. APA is an editorial writing style that was developed as a way to standardize the publication of scientific papers in the social sciences. Many educational institutions have adopted APA style rules and procedures to encourage ease of reading, accuracy, and respect in scholarly communication. With that said, there are times when there are no exact APA examples of how to format and/or cite information in student papers. Here is a post on the APA Style Blog (by the American Psychological Association) that may be useful: “Me, Me, Me”: How to Talk About Yourself http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2014/05/me-me-me.html in an APA Style Paper. However, I think your best bet is to check with your instructor. He or she is the final authority on what your paper should look like, even if his or her requirements differ from the guidelines outlined in the APA Manual.

Subject: Library and Information Science

TutorMe
Question:

How do I find the full-text of an article from citation information?

Inactive
Zemirah L.
Answer:

In order to obtain full-text of most articles, you will need to have access to a library. Most libraries will facilitate an online record of the Journals in their holdings. For university libraries, they might have an A-Z Journal List. This is an online list of all the journals where one particular library might have full text access in a variety of formats. Search for your article by the name of the journal where your article is found. Be sure to use complete words when possible as the search feature most likely will not recognize abbreviations. If the library owns the journal, you will see a record showing the dates and location/format for the journal. If it is electronically available in a database or directly from the journal publisher you can follow the links (often: year>>volume>>issue) through the database or publisher's site to reach a PDF or HTML copy. Depending on the library, articles may often be accessed via Science Direct (which will require you to fill out an Order Document form online). Library policies are different but these orders can be filled anywhere between 24-72 business hours. If the journal is available in print or microfiche, most libraries will direct you to order the journal via a form they issue you online--as this will require a library staff person's physical assistance to locate the article, scan it, and email it to you. Libraries policies are different but these orders can be filled anywhere between 24-72 business hours. If the library doesn't have either the dates that you want in their journal subscription or the journal itself (i.e. it is not in the results list after a journal name search), you will need to order the item through the library's interlibrary loan service. Libraries policies are different but these orders can take up to two weeks to receive.

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