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Report answers questions about the human microbiome and its role in health, obesity
Date:1/9/2014

The human microbiome, the collection of trillions of microbes living in and on the human body, is not random, and scientists believe that it plays a role in many basic life processes. As science continues to explore and better understand the role of the human microbiome. A new report from the American Academy of Microbiology addresses some of the most common questions about this growing area of research.

The report, entitled FAQ: Human Microbiome is based on the deliberations of 13 of the nation's leading experts who met to develop clear answers to frequently asked questions regarding the human microbiome and its role in human health.

Some of the questions considered by the report are:

  • What is the human microbiome?
  • Where does our microbiome come from?
  • How big is the microbiome?
  • Where is the microbiome located, and what is it doing?
  • What is the relationship between the microbiome, health, and disease?

"Scientists are experiencing startling insights into the role that microorganisms play, not only in disease, but more importantly in our health and well-being," says Lita Proctor of the National Human Genome Research Institute, a member of the steering committee of the report. Proctor is also Program Director for the Human Microbiome Project, an 8-year undertaking by the National Institutes of Health to identify and characterize the microorganisms which are found in association with both healthy and diseased humans.

Researchers have long known that bacteria reside on and within the human body, but traditional microbiology has typically focused on the study of individual species as isolated, culturable units. Recent advances in DNA sequencing technologies and other molecular techniques have allowed for more comprehensive examination of these microbes as communities that have evolved intimate relationships with their hosts over millions of years. Scientists now recognize that the microbiome
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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

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