The Human Microbiome Project, which is made up of many scientists and institutions, sequenced bacteria taken from a large group of healthy people. In an article recently featured in the Health section of the New York Times, the exciting realization was found many more strains of bacteria than expected, and the diversity was large from person to person. Although most bacteria are generally thought of as a problem and causes of infection, the roles bacteria play in essential functions of human life is often overlooked.
“For years, bacteria have had a bad name. They are the cause of infections, of diseases. They are something to be scrubbed away, things to be avoided.
But now researchers have taken a detailed look at another set of bacteria that may play even bigger roles in health and disease: the 100 trillion good bacteria that live in or on the human body.
No one really knew much about them. They are essential for human life, needed to digest food, to synthesize certain vitamins, to form a barricade against disease-causing bacteria. But what do they look like in healthy people, and how much do they vary from person to person?” Read More…