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$4,938 pledged of $10,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By AnimalBiome
$4,938 pledged of $10,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

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Appearance Prototype

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Design Prototype

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Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

About this project

We invite YOU and your DOG to participate in a citizen science study of the doggy microbiome – brought to you by the creators of KittyBiome.

This project will help us to better understand how microbiomes differ among dogs. We need all kinds of dogs to participate - big and small, all kinds of breeds and mixes, healthy and sick.

Two years ago, we launched a Kickstarter campaign for our KittyBiome project that enabled us to create the largest database on the microbiome, diet, health, and lifestyle of pet cats. Because of this project, we are now well on our way to developing diagnostics and therapies to improve the health and wellness of cats. Now we want to do the same for dogs.

Please join us to help further scientific research to improve our understanding of the roles played by gut microbes in dog health and behavior! 

What is the microbiome?

The microbiome is composed of all the bacteria, fungi, and other tiny things that live in and on us and our dogs. These microbial communities differ between ears and noses and mouths and tummies.

This project focuses on characterizing bacteria living in the gut microbiome of dogs. Beneficial gut bacteria help your pet digest food, make vitamins, communicate with the immune and nervous systems, fight off infections, and more.

How can you help?

Actually, it's easier than you think. We all spend a lot of time picking up our pet's poop. While we usually rush to the trash can, this poop contains valuable information about your dog's gut microbiome that could be used to advance canine science.

By 'giving a crap', your dog can help us answer such questions as whether dog breeds differ in their composition of gut bacteria, whether raw or kibble diets affect bacterial diversity, how domestic dogs differ from wolves, as well as potentially help us find solutions for suffering pets!

Does your dog have golden poo? 

We are looking for healthy dogs with fantastic gut microbiomes. In order to develop better solutions for sick dogs, we need to know what the microbiome looks like in healthy dogs, who have good bacterial diversity and a nice representation of beneficial bacteria that fight inflammation and help with digestion. We refer to poop from these dogs as "golden poo."

Celebrity pups

We are inviting celeb dogs to join the project, so we can see how our dogs' microbiomes compare to the rich and instafamous. We are very pleased to announce that Atka, a wolf ambassador and three of his friends from the NY Wolf Conservation Center have all agreed to contribute poop to canine science. You can reach Atka by email: Atka@nywolf.org and follow him on Twitter @nywolforg

Atka is pleased to contribute poop to help her canine cousins.
Atka is pleased to contribute poop to help her canine cousins.

Who we are 

Holly Ganz is a microbial ecologist who studies how microbes and mammals interact. She has sampled poop from many wild carnivores, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, and African wild dogs. After creating KittyBiome in 2015, she realized that digestive disorders are common in cats and dogs and that the microbiome plays an important role in some of these conditions. And so she founded AnimalBiome in September 2016 in order to create better diagnostics and therapeutics for cats and dogs. Holly received her PhD from UC Davis and conducted research at UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and the UC Davis Genome Center.

Holly collecting samples from an African Wild Dog in Namibia.
Holly collecting samples from an African Wild Dog in Namibia.

Kari Goodman is an evolutionary biologist turned data scientist whose field research on biodiversity has taken her from deep in the floodplain forests of the Amazon to the highest volcanoes in Hawaii. In addition to receiving her PhD from and performing postdoctoral research at UC Berkeley, she is also a graduate of the Insight Data Science Fellows Program. 

Kari collecting samples in Hawaii.
Kari collecting samples in Hawaii.

Holly and Kari met at UC Berkeley over a decade ago and are thrilled to be working together on the amazing microbial diversity living inside animals. 

Our Scientific Advisory Board includes Professors Jonathan Eisen of UC Davis, Jennifer Gardy of the University of British Columbia, and Stan Marks of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. 

About our rewards

Here is more information about the great rewards that we have put together for this campaign. Please note that the microbiome assessment we provide as a reward is not a diagnostic test but rather a description of the bacteria living in your dog. 

How it works

When you sign up to contribute dog poop for science, we will send you a sample kit with instructions for how to collect a fecal sample (yes, that means poop) back to us.

How we will sequence the samples

We will perform ultra-high-throughput microbial community analysis using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Bacterial taxa present in the samples will be identified by sequencing the V4 hypervariable region of 16S rRNA.

Sequencing will be performed with minor modifications following the protocols of the Earth Microbiome Project. DNA will be extracted from samples using the QIAGEN PowerFecal Kit with bead beating. DNA concentrations will be standardized across all samples for PCR enrichment and library preparation. The resulting libraries will be sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq (paired-end 250 base pair sequencing) following standard protocols. Bacterial species will be identified using Quantitative Insights in Microbial Ecology (QIIME) and mothur, and other programs. We will assess differences in microbiome diversity using various multivariate methods in R. Results will be presented in an interactive website that we developed for this project.

Please follow the DoggyBiome project on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you and woof!

Risks and challenges

It takes 4-6 weeks to receive results from your pup's poop sample. In addition, it may take a while to connect what we learn about the dog microbiome from this project to specific features of dogs like their health, personalities, or lifestyles. Initially we need to describe the dog microbiome and see how much variation is observed. This is a long term project that will greatly benefit from the contributions of citizen scientists.

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  1. Make a pledge without a reward

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    DoggyBiome Sticker

    A festive DoggyBiome "Science for Dogs" sticker ready to adorn your laptop or notebook and show your support for canine science.

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    DoggyBiome tank top for your pup

    Receive a tank top for your pup sporting our handsome DoggyBiome logo, designed for us by Brooklyn-based graphic designer, Margaret McCartney. After the campaign, we will send you a survey where you can specify your pup’s size. Your contribution will be used to help build our doggy database.

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    DoggyBiome Giant Microbes Dog Toy

    Receive a special Giant Microbes Bi-FIDO-bacterium dog toy (squeaker included!) designed exclusively for DoggyBiome. Your contribution will be used to help build our doggy database.

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    DoggyBiome T-shirt and Giant Microbe

    Receive a special Kickstarter version of our handsome DoggyBiome t-shirt, designed for us by Brooklyn-based graphic designer, Margaret McCartney. Wear your support proudly! And to thank you for giving it up for science, you also will receive a special Giant Microbes Bi-FIDO-bacterium dog toy designed for DoggyBiome. After the campaign, we will send you a survey where you can specify your size and female or unisex cut. Your contribution will be used to help build our doggy database.

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    Pledge $59 or more About $59

    Silk Doggy Microbes Scarf

    Fabulous custom DoggyBiome chiffon silk scarf featuring doggy microbes, designed for us by the famous maker of science-y art, Michele Banks of @artologica. Your contribution will be used to help build our doggy database.

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    Limited Edition DoggyBiome hoodie

    Stay warm with your own DoggyBiome zip-up hoodie designed for us by Brooklyn-based graphic designer, Margaret McCartney. Wear your support proudly! After the campaign, we will send you a survey where you can specify your size. Your contribution will be used to help build our doggy database.

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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    Sequence My Pup’s Poop!

    We will send you a Doggy Gut Assessment Kit with detailed instructions for collecting a sample from your dog that you will send back to us for analysis. You will receive access to an interactive website once your pup's results are ready. And to thank your pup for giving it up for science, you also will receive a special Giant Microbes Bi-FIDO-bacterium dog toy designed for DoggyBiome.

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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    Sequence My Kitty's Poop!

    Would you love to participate but only own cats? We love cats too - you can sequence your cat's gut microbiome! We will send you a Kitty Gut Assessment Kit with detailed instructions for collecting a sample from your cat that you will send back to us for analysis. You will receive access to an interactive website once your kitty’s results are ready. And to thank your kitty for supporting this DoggyBiome campaign, we will send you the Giant Microbes Bi-FIDO-bacterium toy. Your contribution will be used to help build our kitty database.

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    All in supporter!

    Get the Doggy Gut Assessment Kit, the handsome DoggyBiome t-shirt, the DoggyBiome chiffon silk scarf, the special DoggyBiome Giant Microbe, and the sticker! We will send you a sampling kit with detailed instructions for collecting a sample from your dog that you will send back to us for analysis. You will receive access to an interactive website once your pup's results are ready.

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Sequence My Pup’s Poop x 2!

    We will send you a Doggy Gut Assessment Kit to collect two samples from your dog or one sample from two dogs. You will receive detailed instructions for collecting these samples and sending them back to us for analysis. You will have access to an interactive website once your pup's (or pups') results are ready. And to thank your pup for giving it up for science, you also will receive a special Giant Microbes Bi-FIDO-bacterium stuffed microbe dog toy designed for DoggyBiome.

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    Pledge $249 or more About $249

    Sequence My Pup’s Poop x 3!

    We will send you a Doggy Gut Assessment Kit to collect three samples from your dog or one sample from three dogs. You will receive detailed instructions for collecting these samples and sending them back to us for analysis. You will have access to an interactive website once your pup's (or pups') results are ready. And to thank your pup for giving it up for science, you also will receive a special Giant Microbes Bi-FIDO-bacterium dog toy designed for DoggyBiome.

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    Pledge $79 or more About $79

    Sequence My Pup’s Poop! Early Bird!

    Early Bird Special. We will send you a Doggy Gut Assessment Kit with detailed instructions for collecting a sample from your dog that you will send back to us for analysis. You will receive access to an interactive website once your pup's results are ready. And to thank your pup for giving it up for science, you also will receive a special Giant Microbes Bi-FIDO-bacterium stuffed microbe dog toy designed for DoggyBiome.

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    Pledge $98 or more About $98

    All in supporter! Early Bird

    Get the Doggy Gut Assessment Kit, the handsome DoggyBiome t-shirt, the special DoggyBiome Giant Microbe, and the sticker! We will send you a sampling kit with detailed instructions for collecting a sample from your dog that you will send back to us for analysis. You will receive access to an interactive website once your pup's results are ready.

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