Skip to comments.Gut bacteria gene complement dwarfs human genome
Posted on 03/04/2010 12:16:08 AM PST by neverdem
Sequencing project finds that Europeans share a surprising number of bacteria.
Researchers have unveiled a catalogue of genes from microbes found in the human gut. The information could reveal how 'friendly' gut bacteria interact with the body to influence nutrition and disease.
"This is the most powerful microscope that's been used so far to describe microbial communities," says George Weinstock, a geneticist at Washington University in St. Louis who was not involved in the study.
The human body contains about ten times as many microbes as human cells, and most of them live in the gut. The new study, published today in Nature1, shows that, between them, those microbes contain 3.3 million genes, dwarfing the human genome's 23,000. The authors also find that the bacterial species in one person's gut are not as different from those of others as had been expected.
Scientists hope to use this genetic information much as they hope to use the human genome: to predict and treat disease. The goal has led to efforts around the world to sequence and characterize all the microbes in the human gut, dubbed the 'microbiome'.
Now, a group of scientists associated with a European project called MetaHIT (Metagenomics of the Human Intestinal Tract) has undertaken the biggest ever census of the bacterial genes that are present in the gut...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
But it’s dwarfed by something else.
A couple grad students wanted to find out how many different bacteria were in one CC of sea water. They guesstimated maybe a thousand or so,
Last I read, they were up to 25,000 plus and still counting. Probably a good number never before even cataloged in bacteriology.
Funny how one apostrophe can radically alter sentence meaning.
Where would that be?
LOL, now that I see it too!
My mind saw it as if that apostrophe WAS there and I was wondering what dwarfs had to do with this.
Some Europeans also have bacteria on the outside of their bodies, I’m told....
In fact it was bacteria.
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There are MILLIONS.
It's like the ocean is just full of loose genes that may have purposes.
I've suggested many times that there are probably the instruction set for intergalactic space cruisers out there and all we have to do is figure out how to put them to work.
The fellow who was the first to get through the human genome project, John Craig Venter, has a foundation that's work finding the viruses and bacteria we need ~ another project is to create an artificial life-form into which we can stick the virus and bacteria genes to see what they are supposed to do.