Thursday, 20 May 2010

Microbes on and in the human body

A major initiative by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to sequence 900 genomes of microorganisms that live on the surfaces and orifices of the human body has established standardized protocols and methods for such large-scale reference sequencing. By combining previously accumulated data with new data, Nelson et al. present an initial analysis of 178 gbacterial genomes. The sampling so far barely scratches the surface of the microbial diversity found on humans, but the work provides an important baseline for future analyses.