Human Microbiome Genetic Diversity Comparable to Number of Stars in Observable Universe

August 16, 2019

(Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News) – An analysis of microbial genes in the human gut and oral microbiomes has yielded results suggesting that the collective microbiome may contain more genes than there are stars in the observable universe. Scientists in the United States and Canada have generated a catalog and searchable web resource detailing tens of millions of microbial genes identified through their first-sweep analysis of thousands of human samples. Their findings, reported in Cell Host & Microbe, suggest that the mouth and gut microbiomes comprise “staggering” microbial genetic diversity, and found that at least half of all the genes identified were unique to an individual.

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