The collection of microbes on and in your body is your microbiome. In essence, it is your second genome. In fact, since many of the bacteria inside the body have not been cultured or studied, scientists only can identify them through their DNA. The microbiome has a major influence our health. It is responsible for many relevant functions including breakdown of complex food molecules, prevention of disease-causing pathogens from entering the body, and the synthesis for essential nutrients and vitamins. Not only are the gut microbes unique to each individual, the microbes living on the surfaces of the human body also are specific to each individual, just like fingerprints.
The Introduction to the Microbiome Guide for Teachers lets students explore the human microbiome through scientific articles, in-depth and hands-on activities, and by answering thought-provoking questions. Topics include: understanding the diversity of microbes in the human body, bacterial signaling/communication, using bacteria to treat disease, and the role of microbes in the human gut.
Associated SEPA Project(s)
R25RR018605 : 09/30/2003 - 08/31/2008