One of the Human Microbiome Project’s (HMP) primary goal was to provide a reference collection of 16S rRNA gene sequences collected from sites across the human body that would allow microbiologists to better associate changes in the microbiome with changes in health. The HMP Consortium has reported the structure and function of the human microbiome in 300 healthy adults at 18 body sites from a single time point.
Using additional data collected over the course of 12–18 months, they partitioned the data into community types for each body site. Understanding the diversity of community types and the mechanisms that result in an individual having a particular type or changing types, will allow us to use their community types to assess disease risk and to personalize therapies.
Read about the results of the HMP in this author manuscript by Tao Ding and Patrick D. Schloss, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan.