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Q&A: Medicinal microbiota

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The human microbiota -- the communities of commensal bacteria that live in our gut, mouth, and on our skin -- have recently been hailed as a forgotten organ, and praised for the positive impact they have on our health. Recent research has suggested that the 1014 or so organisms, representing more than 500 species, influence ailments such as inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, asthma and type I diabetes.

The Scientist spoke with Justin Sonnenburg and Michael Fischbach, microbiologists from Stanford University and the University of California San Francisco respectively, about potential therapeutics that target the human microbiota, the subject of a perspective piece they authored, published today (April 13) in Science Translational Medicine.
 
 

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