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Microbiome and Microbiology

Introduction

The microorganisms living on and in our bodies are intimately involved in many aspects of our health: food digestion, protection from pathogens, development and interaction with our immune system. The microbiome refers to all of the microorganisms, their genes and their ecosystem, and when it is in perfect balance with our bodies it is an important contributor to human health. When the microbiome is out of balance, however, it can contribute to disease in ways that are not yet fully understood. Recent advances in microbiome research have revealed much greater complexity and diversity within microbial communities than previously suspected.  The human microbiome is composed of hundreds of species and thousands of strains of bacteria. With relatively little  characterization of these microbial groups, the influence each can have on human health is largely unknown. Microbial populations have effects on the host, with direct influences on metabolism and signal transduction pathways, as well as on each other within communities. Microbial effects may thus be a result not only of the presence or absence of specific bacteria but also of the exact composition of the bacterial community. To further understand the effects of microbiota on health, we investigate  how microbial communities are formed, maintained and how balance can be lost leading to influences on disease states.  We aim to identify the specific bacterially derived factors involved and characterize the molecular events that lead to effects on human health.

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Related Papers

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    Gohir Wajiha, Whelan Fiona J, Surette Michael G et al.
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    De Palma G, Blennerhassett P, Lu J et al.
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    Stearns Jennifer C, Davidson Carla J, McKeon Suzanne et al.
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  • The loss of topography in the microbial communities of the upper respiratory tract in the elderly. - 2014
    Whelan Fiona J, Verschoor Chris P, Stearns Jennifer C et al.
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  • The cystic fibrosis lung microbiome. - 2014
    , , et al.
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  • Diet-induced developmental acceleration independent of TOR and insulin in C. elegans. - 2013
    MacNeil Lesley T, Watson Emma, Arda H Efsun et al.
    Cell. Link: 23540701
  • Bacterial biogeography of the human digestive tract. - 2012
    Stearns Jennifer C, Lynch Michael D J, Senadheera Dilani B et al.
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