When the Human Genome Project revealed that human chromosomes encode a paltry 21 500 genes, far fewer than anticipated, scientists began to think outside the genome to find additional factors that could be involved in the complexities of human health and disease.
They didn't have to look far. The human microbiome, the constellation of microbes living in and on the body, harbors millions of additional genes that contribute to the well-being of their host.
Although much is known about how pathogens contribute to disease, the roles played by the more abundant beneficial and benign members of the microbiome are less well understood. Often this is because it is very difficult or impossible to culture these organisms outside of the human host. Through research in metagenomics, in which genomic analyses of entire microbial communities are carried out, and investigations into host-microbe interactions, researchers are studying the microbial contributions to health and disease and using what they are learning to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
Graphic Jump Location
The Human Microbiome Project aims to characterize the microbial communities at various sites in and on the human body (such as the cluster of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria shown here amid nasal epithelial cells) and to analyze the roles of these microbes in human development and physiology.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
All results at
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.