Genomic approaches to studying the human microbiota.

Nature. 2012 Sep 13;489(7415):250-6. doi: 10.1038/nature11553.


The human body is colonized by a vast array of microbes, which form communities of bacteria, viruses and microbial eukaryotes that are specific to each anatomical environment. Every community must be studied as a whole because many organisms have never been cultured independently, and this poses formidable challenges. The advent of next-generation DNA sequencing has allowed more sophisticated analysis and sampling of these complex systems by culture-independent methods. These methods are revealing differences in community structure between anatomical sites, between individuals, and between healthy and diseased states, and are transforming our view of human biology.


Weinstock GM.

Institute Authors