Microbial communities, or microbiomes, are essential for safeguarding human and environmental health through the most widely used biotechnological process on our planet: biological wastewater treatment.
Microbial communities, or microbiomes, are essential for safeguarding human and environmental health through the most widely used biotechnological process on our planet: biological wastewater treatment. However, the process itself is subject to constant changes, difficult to sustain over long periods of time and emits significant amounts of greenhouse gases. There is thus an urgent need to predict the behavior of its complex microbiome to better control the process and to improve on its engineering. Researchers from the Systems Ecology group at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) and the Department of Life Sciences and Medicine of the University of Luxembourg and their international collaborators have now developed a novel modeling approach that can predict the dynamics and functions of such microbial communities several years into the future. The research article is published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution alongside a corresponding Research Briefing.
Wastewater treatment plants are essential infrastructure, protecting human and environmental health through water sanitation. However, they are highly complex systems that can be difficult to manage. One immediate challenge is how to accurately predict the dynamics of the microbial communities that drive the treatment process, which is essential to better control it and make it sustainable. In their latest study, a team of researchers has addressed this issue head-on by developing a new framework to make such predictions accurately up to three years into the future.
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