Thursday 7 November 2013

Understanding the microbiome

The new understanding of the role of microbial communities in human health, and the growing community of researchers studying the microbiome -- the totality of microbes and their genomes in a given environment -- could soon begin to emerge in the large longitudinal studies. The studies gather critical information about human health and well-being and how it changes over time.

Scientists have recognized that each individual human may be host to a unique composition of microbes, with as many as 1,000 species present in niches ranging from the gut to the belly button. An individual's microbiome, in fact, may be a more exact identifier for individuals than a fingerprint.

As part of this emerging theme, a recent workshop sponsored by the Center for the Demography and Health and Aging and the Center for Demography and Ecology, sought to bring UW-Madison biologists and social scientists together to explore the microbial dimensions of human health.

For more details, see the  University ofWisconsin-Madison.

Posted by Tim Sandle

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