MAR 21, 2017 4:16 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
FEB 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 10, 2020
Learn How NASA Suppresses the Loud Sounds of a Rocket Launch
When a large chemical rocket’s engines ignite, they produce thousands, if not millions, of pounds of thrust. This much power is necessary to loft the...
FEB 12, 2020
Health & Medicine
FEB 12, 2020
Brain Patients are Advancing Research
Neuroscientists may face the challenge of not having enough material or high-quality material to study the condition they’re researching. Luckily&mda...
FEB 17, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 17, 2020
How a Spider Builds its Web
Just about everyone has seen a spider web at some point in their life, but have you ever wondered how a spider builds such a strong and perfect web? The pr...
MAR 01, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 01, 2020
These Insects Blend in with the Leaves They Cling to
There are a lot of animals on Earth that use camouflage to blend in with their surroundings, but perhaps one of the better examples of this in action is th...
MAR 16, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 16, 2020
These Crabs Decorate Themselves to Avoid Being Eaten
The animal world is chock-full of critters that do seemingly odd or unusual things. The decorator crab is one such example, a crustacean that likes to deck...
MAR 20, 2020
Cardiology
MAR 20, 2020
Exercise For Persons With COPD
The thought of starting an exercise program can be daunting, particularly for those who have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COP...
Loading Comments...