Metagenomics, Metadata, and Meta-analysis
The analytical approach of identifying emergent patterns in ecological properties of microbial communities by sequencing community structure and function and defining the physical, chemical, and biological parameters of the ecosystem.
Metagenomics is the study of all genetic material from all organisms in a defined sample (Handelsman et al. 1998). However, it is defined: metagenomics is just a term used to describe a selection of tools and techniques that enable us to uncover the DNA from the organisms in an environment (which can comprise any ecosystem, from soil to human intestinal tract). Metadata (also known as contextual data) refers directly to information regarding the original sample, the extraction and handling of the DNA, and the sequencing platform and data processing information (Field et al. 2011; Yilmaz et al. 2011). Without such metadata, metagenomic...