Health and Our Microbiome

Humans are just a speck in a massively bacterial world. Living in and on us, microbes make up 70 to 90 percent of all cells in our bodies—our microbiome—and our health depends upon them. What makes some of these bacteria benign and others cause disease, like antibiotic-resistant superbugs? What are the health effects of antibiotic overuse, and how can we restore depleted microbiomes? What can we learn from sequencing the DNA of these extraordinarily diverse ecosystems, and from the microorganism communities around us—our macrobiomes? The answers have fascinating and critically important implications for how we track pathogens, prevent disease, and stay healthy.
 

This project is supported by the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Stomach Bacteria Show Early Human Travels

Stomach Bacteria Show Early Human Travels

The germs that live inside us have evolved with us -- and tell a story of early human migrations.

SciCafe: Antibiotics and Obesity with Martin Blaser

SciCafe: Antibiotics and Obesity with Martin Blaser

Microbiologist Martin Blaser discusses how changes in the human microbiome - for example, through the overuse of antibiotics and hand sanitizers - may be contributing to an increase in chronic conditions such as obesity. 

MRSA: The Evolution of a Drug-Resistant Superbug

MRSA: The Evolution of a Drug-Resistant Superbug

A superbug’s resistance is linked to antibiotics in livestock feed.

Meet Your Microbiome

Meet Your Microbiome

Explore how changes in the human microbiome may be contributing to an increase in obesity and other chronic conditions.

SciCafe: Microbes in the House

Geneticist Jack Gibert presents the most recent discoveries from the invisible world of the microbiome.

The Secret World Inside You

The Secret World Inside You

This exhibition explores the human microbiome and how rapidly evolving science is reshaping our ideas about human health. 

Microbiome Monday: The Top Three Questions from Visitors

Microbiome Monday: The Top Three Questions from Visitors

A presenter from the exhibition The Secret World Inside You shares—and answers—the most common questions.

Microbiome Monday: The Microbiome of the World

Microbiome Monday: The Microbiome of the World

Preliminary results are in from a Museum study of microbiome samples from individuals from more than 50 countries.

Mapping Microbes in the Human Body

Mapping Microbes in the Human Body

See how the Human Microbiome Project is shedding light on the microbes that live inside us.

When Good Bacteria Go Bad

When Good Bacteria Go Bad

To understand how everyday microbes can change so dramatically, laboratories are investigating how bacterial communities exchange genetic information in the environments we share.

Q&A: Mapping the Urban Microbiome

Q&A: Mapping the Urban Microbiome

What does the genetic fingerprint of New York City look like? Microbiome researcher Chris Mason is trying to find out.

Welcome to Microbiome Mondays!

Welcome to Microbiome Mondays!

The first in a series of weekly primers on the microbiome and the research surrounding it.

Google-bet: Facts About Microbes

Google-bet: Facts About Microbes

Curators Rob DeSalle and Susan Perkins answer the internet's most pressing questions on microbes. 

Our Microbiome -- Identifying the Worlds Within

Our Microbiome -- Identifying the Worlds Within

Our health depends on trillions of microbes living in our bodies.

Bacteria Evolving: Tracing the Origins of a MRSA Epidemic

Bacteria Evolving: Tracing the Origins of a MRSA Epidemic

These curriculum materials show practicing physicians and infectious disease specialists studying the origins and impacts of pathogens. 

Microbial Warriors Battle Digestive Disease

Microbial Warriors Battle Digestive Disease

Bacterial infusions can heal gut microbe imbalances.

Microbiome Monday: How Do We Build Our Microbiomes?

Microbiome Monday: How Do We Build Our Microbiomes?

Dr. Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello at New York University is working to find out how modern Western lifestyles are affecting the development of our microbiomes. 

Ask a Scientist About Microbes

Ask a Scientist About Microbes

In these videos, microbiologist Susan Perkins answers kids’ questions about microbes.

Diet Changes In Our Past Helped Harmful Microbes To Thrive

Diet Changes In Our Past Helped Harmful Microbes To Thrive

By studying fossilized bacteria in plaque from ancient teeth, scientists link carbohydrates and highly processed foods to the rise of two species of harmful oral bacteria.

Scicafe: Mapping the Urban Microbiome, Genome, Metagenome

Scicafe: Mapping the Urban Microbiome, Genome, Metagenome

In his SciCafe, genetist Chris Mason talked about the importance of understanding not just our microbiome, but our macro biome as well.