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Science. 2012 Jun 8;336(6086):1251-3. doi: 10.1126/science.1224686. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Honor thy gut symbionts redux.

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  • 1Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63108, USA. jgordon@wustl.edu

Abstract

Exploring our gut microbial communities with new tools is allowing us to revisit old questions; to develop new concepts about our evolution, postnatal development, systems physiology, individuality, and definitions of health; and to further delineate the impact of our changing life-styles. It is also allowing us to envision exciting new ways for addressing global health problems. This area is inherently interdisciplinary, offering a wealth of opportunities to create new fields, partnerships, and educational initiatives. It is captivating to the public and carries substantial expectations. As such, participating scientists need to sponsor proactive, solution-focused discussions of its societal implications.

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