MAR 21, 2017 04:16 PM PDT

Introducing: the Human Microbiome

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

While microbes reside virtually everywhere, there has been intense research interest in microbes residing in one place in particular - the human gut. As genetic technologies advanced, it gave investigators an unprecedented window into the myriad microorganisms that live within us, usually referred to as the human microbiome (bacterial species can be identified by sequencing the 16S rRNA-encoding genes in fecal samples). The microbes themselves are often harmless and in fact play very important roles in the maintenance of our health; for example, in some cases metabolic byproducts made by the micro biome are crucial to health and not made by our own cells.

But when imbalances and disorder impacts the microbial community, it can wreak havoc, as scientists are learning. There is a growing body of evidence that links dysfunction in the microbiome to health problems, which leo means it can be a target for therapeutics.

It was once thought and is often repeated that there are ten times as many bacterial cels in our body as cells of our own, but other research has indicated that ratio is more likely to be one-to-one. There are typical species found in the human gut, but the composition from one person to another can vary widely. You can learn more about it in the video.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
DEC 05, 2019
Earth & The Environment
DEC 05, 2019
The Amazon is Still Burning
Although other crises may be dominating international news headlines, the Amazon rainforest is still burning. The Wall Street Journal stated that more than...
DEC 05, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 05, 2019
Radioactive Spill? Self-propelled Microbots to the Rescue
Scientists have been looking for an effective method to clean up radioactive elements in industrial wastewater and accidental spill, to support and boost t...
DEC 05, 2019
Earth & The Environment
DEC 05, 2019
Study Confirms Hurricanes are Getting Much Worse
If it seems like hurricanes have become more destructive in recent years, it’s because they have. Thanks to a new damage-framing method accounting fo...
DEC 05, 2019
Neuroscience
DEC 05, 2019
Finding Pleasure in Music Comes From Balance of Uncertainty, Surprise
  A new study by the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences shows the effect that uncertainty, about a song's progression, an...
DEC 05, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 05, 2019
What are "Tears of Wine"?
Have you noticed: every time after pouring wine, near the top of a wine glass there's always a ring of liquid, where droplets form and continue to fall...
DEC 05, 2019
Earth & The Environment
DEC 05, 2019
Restoring the World's Wetlands
An effort to restore wetlands throughout the United States and the United Kingdom is currently underway. As part of the Associated Press’ “What...
Loading Comments...