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UM IGS Study Finds Vaginal Microbes Vary Among Healthy Women

The delicate balance of microbes in the vagina can vary greatly between healthy women, according to a new study led by the UM’s Institute for Genome Sciences. Researchers hope further study will lead to personalized reproductive medicine for women, allowing doctors to tailor each woman’s treatment and health maintenance strategies to her individual microbial make-up.

The study, published online the week of May 31, 2010, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used genomics-based technologies to examine the vaginal microbes in 400 women. The work, a collaboration between the Institute for Genome Sciences and researchers at the University of Idaho, is the first in-depth, large-scale molecular characterization of vaginal microbial communities. The research is an example of an emerging field of genomics, the study of the human microbiome. The human microbiome refers to all of the microbes that live on and in the human body.
 
 

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