The human microbiome is a treasure trove waiting to be unlocked

The human microbiome is a treasure trove waiting to be unlocked

Bacteria are at the centre of all life forms on planet earth and are the essential building blocks that make living organisms the way they are.

Both the mitochondrion — found in most organisms, which generates energy in the cell — and the chloroplast — the solar energy-harvester located in plants — can be traced to their bacterial ancestors. These specialized microbes laid the foundation for the biodiversity we live amongst.

Microbes are a part of all multicellular organisms, where they perform a myriad of functions essential to life, including the digestion of nutrients and signalling processes. The microbes that are an integral component of living organisms are referred to as the microbiome. The microbiome is found in creatures as simple as the hydra and as complex as humans, elephants and trees.

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