Scientists are looking into the different types of bacteria (including probiotics and pathogens) that live in different areas of the body. Researchers at the University of Colorado examined 27 areas on the bodies of nine healthy volunteers, and were surprised to find large variations in bacterial communities from person to person. The BBC pointed out that the 'estimated 100 trillion microbes living on or inside the human body... are thought to play a key role in many physiological functions, including the development of the immune system, digestion of key foods and helping to deter potentially disease-causing pathogens.' Many questions remain unanswered; for example 'Do we each have distinct microbial signatures at birth, or do they evolve as we age?' Scientists hope to further such research to a point when it will may be possible to find gentic biomarkers for disease.

Reference: BBC News

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