It is not often that health sciences takes off in leaps and bounds on a whole new branch of discovery. Systems Biology scientists are exploring the Metagenome and Microbiome of Humans to map their interactive genetic and metabolic functions.We define the complex Homeostatic interactions of the Human Homobiome and the Human Microbiome as the Human “Metabiome™”.
In the human microbiome, microbial cells outnumber human cells by a factor of ten to one. Yet the genomic and metabolic functions of these communities have gone unstudied and their influence upon human development, physiology, immunity, and nutrition is largely unknown. Now, exploiting the DNA sequencing tools developed for the human genome project, the NIH has initiated the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) with the mission of enabling comprehensive characterization of the human microbiota and analysis of its role in human health and disease.
Microbes profoundly shape this planet and all life on it, and this new ability to study in situ microbial communities represents a fundamental shift in microbiology and is one whose implications can only be imagined.