Mapping Microorganisms: The Human Microbiome Project

The human body is a haven for trillions of microorganisms that interact with our bodies; some make us sick, and some help to keep us healthy. Studies show that changes in bacteria in the human body can be linked to diseases. For example, Helicobacter pylori, bacteria used to be found in our digestive tract, have largely disappeared in children due to increased use of antibiotics and improved sanitation. The disappearance of these bacteria may explain why increasingly more children have asthma, hay fever, and allergies. In order to better understand the role of microorganisms in the human body, geneticists are working on mapping communities of mixed bacteria that reside in the human body. The Human Microbiome Project involves collaboration among researches in North America, Europe, and Asia. The goal of the project is to better understand the role of these microorganisms play in our bodies. The Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2008 
2008-10-21 15:24:39

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