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Unexpected Bacterial Diversity On Human Skin; New Approaches For Treating, Preventing Skin Diseases

The health of our skin — one of the body's first lines of defense against illness and injury — depends upon the delicate balance between our own cells and the millions of bacteria and other one-celled microbes that live on its surface. To better understand this balance, National Institutes of Health researchers have set out to explore the skin's microbiome, which is all of the DNA, or genomes, of all of the microbes that inhabit human skin.

Their initial analysis, published in the journal Science, reveals that our skin is home to a much wider array of bacteria than previously thought.

The study also shows that at least among healthy people, the greatest influence on bacterial diversity appears to be body location. For example, the bacteria that live under your arms likely are more similar to those under another person's arm than they are to the bacteria that live on your forearm.
 
 

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