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Biology & Life Sciences

The Human Microbiome Project

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The healthy adult body hosts ten times as many microbial cells as human cells.The metagenome carried collectively by these microbial communities dwarfs the human genome in size, and their influences on normal development, diet and obesity, immunity, and disease are under active research. Funded by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund, the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) was established to provide a comprehensive baseline of the microbial diversity at 18 different human body sites.These data join resources generated by computational tool development for analysis of the microbiome, research on the ethical, legal, and social implications of the microbiota, technology development for investigating these microbial communities, and a range of disease-focused microbiome demonstration projects.

Image Credit: National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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