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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
- About Us
Live Chat: The Bugs Inside of Us
6 June 2012 9:11 am
See below for the chat box. Join us each Thursday at 3 p.m. EDT for a live conversation with leading scientists and expert reporters.
Our bodies, inside and out, are teeming with trillions of microbes. Most of them are our friends, helping us to digest food, strengthening our immune systems, and keeping dangerous enemy pathogens from invading our tissues and organs. Evidence is building that this resident community of microbes, called the microbiome, plays a major role in health and disease. Disorders as diverse as cancer, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, asthma, and possibly even autism may be influenced by the microbiome when its normal composition is thrown off balance. How similar are the microbial communities of different people? How are scientists establishing links between microbes and health? And what might be done to alter the microbiome to prevent disease?
Join us for a live chat at 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday, 7 June, on this page. You can leave your questions in the comment box below before the chat starts. The full text of the chat will be archived on this page
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George Weinstock has a long history of research in microbial genetics and genomics, serving as associate director of The Genome Institute at Washington University in St. Louis and previously as co-director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine. He is one of the principal investigators in the NIH Human Microbiome Project and leads numerous other metagenomics projects that study human disease.
Lora Hooper is an associate professor of immunology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Her group studies how commensal bacteria shape intestinal immunity in the mammalian gut and how the immune system prevents commensal bacteria from invading host tissues and causing disease.
Elizabeth Pennisi has covered biology, including the microbiome, as a reporter at Science for 15 years.