by Kristin Neumann


NIH Microbiome Project Triples Number of Previously Identified Bacterial Genes

The NIH HMP identifies more bacterial genes in the human microbiome

“Seemingly every other week new data is published underscoring the importance the microbiome has on human well-being and disease. The microbiome—the encompassing term for the trillions of microbial organisms that live on and within our bodies—has been the focus of intensive research by members of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP), a NIH initiative launched in 2008. Now, new data from HMP members at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and the University of California San Diego has uncovered millions of previously unknown genes from microbial communities in the human gut, skin, mouth, and vaginal microbiome, allowing for new insights into the role these microbes play in human health and disease.”

 “This new data really expands our appreciation for the fingerprint created by microorganisms that make up each human’s microbiome,” noted co-senior study investigator Owen White, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and public health and associate director at the Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) at UM SOM. “These organisms play a crucial role in many key aspects of our health. The more we know about them and their role, the more likely it is that we will be able to manipulate them to improve our health.” Click here to read the full article.

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