Date of Award

3-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management

Department

Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Andrew J. Hoisington, PhD

Abstract

The human gut microbiome contains an abundance of microorganisms which could influence mental health as well as physical health. These microorganisms produce chemicals which affect the brain and the body in various ways. Probiotic bacteria and yeasts have been studied to determine effects they have on mice, rats, and humans to illustrate the importance these microorganisms on health. Studies have shown that adding beneficial microorganisms to the human diet can have positive effects on mental and physical health, to include lessening symptoms of depression and anxiety, lessen gastrointestinal inflammation, displacing pathogens, and improving immunomodulatory response. A quantitative way to identify these microorganisms would be beneficial for future research and future use. Utilizing quantitative polymerase chain reaction, qPCR, to identify and quantify these probiotic microorganisms, and the data required to create assays and standard curves, it is possible to estimate the quantity of DNA of the associated bacteria from a sample. Methods, procedures, and materials were created or compiled for the purpose of growing the species, extracting the DNA, and amplifying the DNA via qPCR. These methods, procedures, materials, and the data and the standard curves created from qPCR were all compiled into a reference guide helpful in identifying and quantifying the bacteria important to human health in future endeavors.

AFIT Designator

AFIT-ENV-MS-20-M-224

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