Sequencing the Human Microbiome

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Submitted by Niall Lennon of the Genome Sequencing Platform at the Broad Institute

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Niall Lennon
Genome Sequencing Platform, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Imaging of Polymerase Chain Reaction Products

"The human microbiome project seeks to identify, catalogue and understand the communities of microbes that live on the human body. By amplifying the ribosomal 16S region using conserved regions as primer targets and then sequencing across variable regions of the microbial genome, the identity and relative abundance of various microbes can be determined. Samples are taken from ~15 body sites on human volunteers. These cover areas such as skin, mouth, ear, nostril, gut (stool), and genitals. Through amplification and sequencing of thousands of such samples a picture of the core microbiome of humans will hopefully emerge."