For example, one group (like a joke, it’s a microbiologist of extremophiles, a neonatologist, and a human microbial geneticist) is studying the effect of bacteria on a devastating intestinal disease in premature babies. They want to know if there’s a role or not for bacteria in this disease.
What’s interesting is that up to now, most understanding of bacteria in humans has been stuff that is pathogenic and can be cultured easily. Bringing in someone who is skilled at finding and characterizing microbes from extremely inhospitable places might help discover new things about our own microbiota.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m all interested now in human microbial ecology or if indeed there has been a resurgence in the study of human microbiology, all I know is that not a week goes by without a new paper or review in this area.
Quite exciting, isn’t it?
Here’s the article: Microbiology: The new germ theory in Nature (no subscription required FTW!).