The Hungry Microbiome

The Hungry Microbiome Screenshot

We've created a fascinating biomedical animation, The Hungry Microbiome, to bring to life years of scientific research and educate the public on how starch gets broken down in the gut.

The Challenge

Explaining complex biomedical science

It’s often hard to understand what’s happening inside our body, because the processes and phenomena that influence it and impact our health can't be seen by the naked eye.

This is a challenge for health professionals, educators and scientists seeking to communicate complex biomedical processes impacting on people’s lives.

Finding accessible and engaging ways to explain important health science is crucial for informing the community and creating behaviour change.

Our Response

Bringing science to life

The Hungry Microbiome: Why resistant starch is good for you.


Show transcript
Bringing complex biomedical processes to life. © CSIRO, Christopher Hammang

Bringing complex biomedical processes to life. © CSIRO, Christopher Hammang

Through the VizbiPlus project, we’re training scientists to create scientifically accurate 3D animations to explain the latest biomedical research.

One of the first animations created through the project, The Hungry Microbiome, takes you on a journey through the intestinal tract to show how starch gets broken down in the gut.

It brings to life years of CSIRO research, accurately describing a very complex process and showing what happens in our bodies at the micro scale.

The Hungry Microbiome was created by our biomedical animator Christopher Hammang and was published in 2014.

The Results

Engaging the community
The Hungry Microbiome is setting new standards for communicating biological science to the world.

Videos like this are allowing researchers to communicate very complex advances in medicine in a way that’s engaging and accessible to a wide general audience.

For example, soon after its release The Hungry Microbiome featured on ABC television's Catalyst program as part of a documentary on gut bacteria.

VizbiPlus is a joint initiative between CSIRO, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and is funded by the Inspiring Australia government initiative.