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Analysis of the Human Gut Microbiome and Association With Disease

See editorial on page 876 ; see related article, Raman M et al on page 868 , in this issue of CGH . </P>Advances in DNA sequencing technology and bioinformatics methodology have led to a revolution in our understanding of the microorganisms that inhabit the human body. Distinctive populations of organisms belonging to each of the 3 domains of life, Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya, inhabit each body site. 1 The communities of microorganisms are referred to as the microbiota . When considering the organisms and all of their related genomes, the term microbiome is used. The human gut microbiome is particularly unique in that it is home to an enormous number of bacteria, approximately 100 trillion bacteria cells, outnumbering the human cells by an estimated 10-fold and the human genome by 150-fold. We have co-evolved to exist with our gut microbiota largely in a mutualistic relationship where we as hosts rely on these organisms for a number of key functions related to nutrition, education of the immune system, and prevention of infection by pathologic species. In turn, we provide our gut microbiota with a unique niche in which to live where we provide a source of nutrition to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Elsevier
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