A microbiome is all of the genetic material found within an individual microbe such as a bacterium, fungal cell, or virus. It also may refer to the collection of genetic material found in a community of microbes that live together.
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Microbiome. Microbes are the small organisms that we can just barely see under a microscope, like bacteria, fungi, viruses... And these microbes live everywhere. They live in the soil, they live in the water, and they live in and on our body. The microbiome is a new term that refers to all of the genetic material found in an individual microbe such as one of these bacteria or fungi or viruses. So if we think about the entire DNA sequence of a microbe, that is the microbiome.
Julie A. Segre, Ph.D.
Senior Investigator, Genetics and Molecular Biology Branch; Head, Epithelial Biology Section
Dr. Segre's research focuses on the dynamic process by which the epidermis maintains a proper balance between proliferation and differentiation. Combining classical genetics techniques and modern genomic tools, her laboratory uses mouse models to investigate the function of novel genes important for in utero human epidermal development, normal wound healing and skin regeneration. The epidermis acts as a barrier to infectious agents and protects against the loss of critical bodily fluids. However, in infants born prematurely, immaturity of the skin places them at great risk of disease and early death.