Aug 122010

The human body contains billions of microorganisms. Microbial cells in the human gut are estimated to outnumber human cells 10 to 1 in healthy adults, according to the National Institutes of Health, but very little is known about the ways in which these minute life forms influence health and disease. Mason’s new molecular ecology facility, the MicroBiome Analysis Center, is attempting to scout this uncharted territory and map the world that these bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa inhabit within us. Their effect on human health is a major focus of the center’s research where investigators explore microbial imbalances on or within the gut, mouth, respiratory tract, and urinary and reproductive systems.

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