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Table 1 Recommendations for improved reliability and consistency in human microbiome studies

From: DNA extraction for human microbiome studies: the issue of standardization

#1 Collect and process negative controls at each of the following points: during sample collection, DNA extraction, and sequencing
#2 Include at least one or more of the following three types of positive controls in each experiment, depending on study: a complex environmental sample, chemostat community, or mock community
#3 Report in detail the DNA extraction methods followed and sufficient information regarding the results from both positive and negative controls in a manner that allows for peer-review and reproducibility
#4 Utilize the same DNA extraction protocol across studies for multi-institute or multi-site studies
#5 Demonstrate “proof-of-life” beyond sequencing in low-biomass studies using microbial culture and/or FISH