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Microbiomes Have the Power to Help or Hinder Your Health Video

They are everywhere: countless microorganisms that inhabit our world—even in your skin, mouth, gut and other parts of your body. Called microbiomes, these communities play a fundamental role in our ecosystem and our bodies, influencing everything from climate to human health. And scientists at PNNL are studying microbiomes to better understand how they influence our daily lives. Scientist Janet Jansson studies complex microbiomes in soil and the human intestine to understand changes in the composition or function of microbes. In the soil, these microbes are associated with carbon cycling and degrading pollutants, as well as plant health. In the intestine, they are responsible for digestion of our food and protection from pathogens. When they go awry, they can be associated with numerous inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s. Understanding the factors underlying these microbiome changes will ultimately help researchers develop solutions to problems encountered within our world and our bodies.

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