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Microbiome Research: CSU Leads The Way In Microbiome Science


(gentle music) – Microbiome is this word we use to describe this invisible
ecosystem of organisms that have a habitat or share a habitat. And so what I mean by
this is that we’re talking about viruses, we’re
talking about bacteria, we’re talking about archaea,
we’re talking about fungi. And even other animal-like
eukaryotes that we can’t see, so this is an invisible world
and it permeates everything from within our bodies
to outside of our bodies, to every sort of surface
that we live in and habitate. The one that we hear
about most in public media and society is the gut microbiome. And in the gut microbiome,
what we realized is that these microorganisms
are actually breaking down chemicals that we can’t
actually ourselves break down. And in addition they’re producing vitamins that we ourselves in our
own bodies cannot produce. And so there’s a lot
interest in how do we harness those microbiomes for
health and human benefit. Other areas of microbiome
science that are exciting are in energy production. And so we know that
microorganisms catalyze all of these energy production systems from natural gas wells to
hydrocarbon rich systems. And so we’re trying to
understand what roles they play and how we can harness their metabolisms to increase energy yields. Another interest is in soil
systems, for two reasons. One, microbes in soil systems actually produce greenhouse gases. And so we’re talking about CO2 and methane, and basically components that contribute to global climate change. Another area would be the
agricultural microbiome and I think this is a
really exciting area. And it’s this idea of can
we harness microorganisms in the soil to actually
get beneficial value to crops systems. – Humans have about
three pounds of microbes, in and on the their body,
most of them are in their gut and these are mostly bacteria. In your gut microbiome, you actually share a lot of those microbes with
people that you live with. If your partner or
roommate is on antibiotics it actually can affect your
gut microbiome, as well. And we also have microbes on our skin and one really interesting
thing about that is that they’re very personalized. And so, the microbes on my
skin are very unique to me and when I touch something I
leave a unique finger print on that surface. And you can actually use
that to link a surface back to the person who touched it. – I think what’s really
innovative about the CSU approach to microbiome science is
we actually are housed in different departments, yet we all function as a community. And to really leverage microbiome sciences in a bunch of different disciplines.

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