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Nature. 2016 Jul 7;535(7610):48-55. doi: 10.1038/nature18845.

A microbial perspective of human developmental biology.

Author information

1
Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.
2
Center for Gut Microbiome and Nutrition Research, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.
3
Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.
4
VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA.
5
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.
6
Department of Chemistry, University of California, Davis, Davis, California 95616, USA.
7
Foods for Health Institute, University of California, Davis, Davis, California 95616, USA.
8
Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California at Davis, Davis, California 95616, USA.
9
Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, Davis, Davis, California 95616, USA.

Abstract

When most people think of human development, they tend to consider only human cells and organs. Yet there is another facet that involves human-associated microbial communities. A microbial perspective of human development provides opportunities to refine our definitions of healthy prenatal and postnatal growth and to develop innovative strategies for disease prevention and treatment. Given the dramatic changes in lifestyles and disease patterns that are occurring with globalization, we issue a call for the establishment of 'human microbial observatories' designed to examine microbial community development in birth cohorts representing populations with diverse anthropological characteristics, including those undergoing rapid change.

PMID:
27383979
PMCID:
PMC5358965
DOI:
10.1038/nature18845
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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