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How Bacteria in Placenta Could Help Shape Human Health

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The placenta is full of microbes, a new study finds, raising questions about how that ecosystem and mothers' oral health influence the risk of pre-term birth.

Even before a baby is born a microbial ecosystem takes up residence in the placenta, creating a microbiome that may help shape the newborn’s immune system and perhaps exert influence over premature births. The revelation, based on the genetic profile of hundreds of placentas, provides the most definitive answer to date that the life-sustaining organ, which nourishes the fetus and helps remove waste, is far from sterile.

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