Saturday, 26 April 2014

Microbiome Influences


Researchers find that gender, education level, and breastfeeding can affect humans’ commensal microbial communities.

The human microbiome is essential to health, and its disruption can lead to disease. Now, using data from the Human Microbiome Project (HMP), which has sampled the microbial communities of 300 healthy people at 18 body sites and analyzed additional samples from the same individuals, Patrick Schloss and Tao Ding of the University of Michigan have found that specific life-history events—namely, gender, education, and whether a person was breastfed as an infant—affected the composition of the body’s microbiomes as an adult. They published their results last week (April 16) in Nature.

Interestingly, by tracking microbiome makeup over the course of 18 months, the authors also found that the oral microbial community was the most liable, while those of the vagina and gut stayed relatively stable. Future research should aim to reveal changes over shorter time intervals.
Posted by Tim Sandle

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