The human microbiota -- the communities of commensal bacteria that live in our gut, mouth, and on our skin -- have recently been hailed as a linkurl:forgotten organ,; and praised for the positive impact they have on our health. Recent research has suggested that the 1014 or so organisms, representing more than linkurl:500 species,; influence ailments such as inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, asthma and type I diabetes. The Scientist spoke with linkurl:Justin Sonnenburg; and linkurl:Michael Fischbach,; microbiologists from Stanford University and the University of California San Francisco respectively, about potential therapeutics that target the human microbiota, the subject of a perspective linkurl:piece; they authored, published today (April 13) in Science Translational Medicine.The Scientist: What is the fundamental idea behind using microbiota in medicine?
Michael Fischbach (left) and Justin Sonnenburg
Images: Courtesy of respective subjects
Justin Sonnenburg: The microbiota appear to relate to everything. This isn't...
Michael FischbachTSJSMFTS
Bacteroides fragilis, an obligate gut microbe
Image: CDC
JSMFJ.L. Sonnenburg and M.A. Fischbach, "Community Health Care: Therapeutic Opportunities in the Human Microbiome," Science Translational Medicine, 3(78), doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001626, 2011.

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