Washington: A new study has suggested that just as human DNA varies from person to person, so too does the massive collection of microbial DNA in the intestine.The research was conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany.It is the first to catalogue the genetic variation of microbes that live in the gut, where they extract nutrients from food, synthesize vitamins, protect against infections, and produce compounds that naturally reduce inflammation. The widespread genetic diversity uncovered by the scientists can help them understand how our microbial genes work together with our human genes to keep us healthy or, in some cases, to cause disease.“Surprisingly, each of us can be identified by the collective DNA of our gut microbes,” said corresponding author George Weinstock, PhD, associate director of The Genome Institute at Washington University.“That collection is individualized, completely analogous to our human genome. Differences in the way individuals respond to various drugs or the way they use specific nutrients can be traced to the genetic variation in our microbial genes as well as in our human genes,” he stated.
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