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Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics
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Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18e
Part 3. Genes, the Environment, and Disease >
Chapter 64. The Human Microbiome
The Human Microbiome: Introduction, Summary, Further Readings.
human microbiome; microbiome.
typically are not spoken in the same breath. Microbes have a strong negative connotation in contemporary societies and are viewed in a warlike context. Disease-producing or pathogenic microbes are indeed serious threats to human health and have received justifiable attention from the inception of the field of microbiology. The list of known and notorious pathogens is long. However, most human encounters with microbes are not hostile but benign or even beneficial. Advances in DNA sequencing and computational biology now permit comprehensive description of the composition of and the roles played by the microbial communities (
) associated with the human body.
Human microbiome projects (HMPs) reflect this view of the human body as an amalgamation of human and microbial cells as well as human and microbial genes. These projects represent a confluence of ongoing technical and computational advances in the genome sciences. The newest generation of massively parallel DNA sequencers can be used to documentwith unprecedented speed and economywhich microbes compose a microbiota and to characterize a microbiota's gene content (its
). Key terms relevant to HMPs are defined in
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