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'We are 90% bacteria,' says researcher for Hospital Microbiome Project

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Scientists at Argonne are on a mission to sort out the trillions of good and bad microbes carried around by the human body.

Biologist Daniel Smith crouched in an empty patient room at the new University of Chicago hospital and dragged a white cotton swab across the gleaming tile.

Smith studied the dust-smudged tip before breaking it off into a plastic tube labeled "floor."

"A good sample for us," said Smith, securing the tiny vial in a box chilled by dry ice. "Although you can't see them, there are literally billions of (bacteria) cells on these surfaces."

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