"After five years of toil, a consortium of several hundred U.S. researchers has released a detailed census of the myriad bacteria, yeasts, viruses and amoebas that live, eat, excrete, reproduce and die in or on us."
"Described in two papers in Nature and a raft of reports in other journals, the data released Wednesday describe microbes of the skin, saliva, nostrils, guts and other areas of 242 adults in tiptop health.
The $170-million, federally funded Human Microbiome Project also cataloged the genes contained within this zoo of life. The results shed light on the hum of microbial activity inside us as nutrients are chopped and guzzled, gas and other wastes are expelled, and bugs send chemical messages to one another, jostling for supremacy or attracting new neighbors to help keep their community going."
Rosie Mestel reports for the Los Angeles Times June 13, 2012.