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Get to know the bacteria and viruses that call your body home

Are you willing to take a close look at yourself for science?

A really, really close look?

A team of scientists in the Bay Area is inviting citizen scientists to join them in a quest to create the largest database of human microbiomes in the world.

The human microbiome is the ecosystem of microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses that live on and in your body.

If that makes you feel squeamish, get over it. Your body is an ecosystem, providing a home for trillions of microscopic organisms. In fact, your body has more of these microorganism cells than human cells. And you need them to live.

The microbiome mapping project, called UBiome, is still getting off the ground. Earlier this month, the scientists behind it turned to the crowd-funding website Indiegogo to solicit funds. If they get the funding they need, they hope to start shipping human microbiome sampling kits out by May.

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