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interactive
Scientific Poster
Digital Meta

Introduction

Visualizing the Metaorganism

From protists to humans, all animals and plants are inhabited by microbial organisms. These resident microbes influence fitness of their hosts, ultimately forming a metaorganism consisting of a uni- or multicellular host and a community of associated microorganisms. Research on host-microbe interactions has become an emerging cross-disciplinary field as mechanisms
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Visualizing the Metaorganism

From protists to humans, all animals and plants are inhabited by microbial organisms. These resident microbes influence fitness of their hosts, ultimately forming a metaorganism consisting of a uni- or multicellular host and a community of associated microorganisms.

Research on host-microbe interactions has become an emerging cross-disciplinary field as mechanisms controlling interactions within the metaorganisms are poorly understood and many key interactions between the associated organisms remain unknown.

While novel technologies of analysis have enabled scientists to look into the underlying molecular and genetic mechanisms, the realm of host-microbe interactions stays entirely invisible to the human eye. For the first time, CRC 1182 researchers together with the communication designers of Kiel based ageny SciCom Lab have now made an effort to visualize the interactions within the metaorganism in depth.

Digital Meta

The interactive Scientific Poster „Digital Meta“ is an multimedia-exhibit that showcases the complex scientific contents of host-microbe interactions. Introducing five different model organisms, users are invited to explore the coexistence of bacterial symbionts with their multicelluar hosts on a 65 inch touchscreen. Much like a smartphone or tablet, the interactive
discover more

Digital Meta

The interactive Scientific Poster „Digital Meta“ is an multimedia-exhibit that showcases the complex scientific contents of host-microbe interactions. Introducing five different model organisms, users are invited to explore the coexistence of bacterial symbionts with their multicelluar hosts on a 65 inch touchscreen. Much like a smartphone or tablet, the interactive Poster is navigated using intuitive touch and swipe gestures. By choosing different paths through the multi-layered content, each user can create his or her individual access to the world of metaorganism research. The „Digital Meta“-project is a joint effort of Kiel University`s CRC 1182 together with Kiel based science communication agency Science Communication Lab.

Now, it’s available as a tablet-based mobile version, too!

Model Organisms

Humans

Humans

The human body contains slightly more bacterial cells than human cells! And the entirety of bacterial genes is 100 times larger than the human genome. In the last decades scientists reveled that most bacteria are very helpful as they support digestion and the development of the immune system thus protects us from harmful pathogens. Yet, for many people bacteria still have a negative image. And this despite the fact that only about 200 of the millions of bacteria that interact with humans are pathogenic!

C. elegans

C. elegans

The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is particularly abundant in microbe rich environments, especially rotting plant matter such as decomposing fruits and stems. In this environment, it is part of a complex interaction network, which is particularly shaped by a species-rich microbial community. These microbes can be food, part of a beneficial gut microbiome, parasites and pathogens, and possibly competitors.

Wheat

Wheat

Plants are associated with billions of bacteria and fungi that colonize inside as well as outside surfaces, such as roots, stems and leaves. Many of them are beneficial for the plant, as they alter the hormonal balance and stimulate plant growth, reducing stress hormones and some can even stimulate plant immunity, shifting resource allocation from growth to defense.
By domestication of wheat and especially through the intensive breeding, the overall diversity of wheat genotypes has decreased drastically. This has also dramatically reduced the diversity of microbial diversity.

Hydra

Hydra

The hydra is an evolutionary ancient and simple animal. Many microorganisms drift alongside with the food particles in the surrounding water and want to enter the host: some are pathogenic, others are very useful for the hydra. The immune system might not only have evolved to eliminate the harmful intruders but also to recruit new microorganisms and to maintain the associated microorganisms.

Sponges

Sponges

Sponges are a reservoir of exceptional microbial diversity in the world’s oceans. Due to seasonal changes of the environment, the microbial composition in the water is constantly fluctuating. Amazingly, scientists are detecting a stable core-microbiota in sponges that is not changing its composition during the season! They assume that this balance is controlled

Next Presentations

23.06.2018

kieler uni live 2018

The “Digital Meta”-SciPoster will be part of our presentation at Kiel Week.

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