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Social networking the microbiome

After European researchers reported in April that they had identified three basic combinations of microbiota, known as “enterotypes,” they began receiving e-mails from people hoping to find out which one they had and how that might be affecting their health.

Over the summer, the group launched my.microbes — a social network organized around the microbiome. Volunteers mail in samples for analysis at a subsidized price of about $2,000. The non-profit project is aimed at quickly assembling a large database for scientists to study while offering easy access to cutting-edge research.


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