Regulators of the Microbiota (NLGE)

The human microbiota is comprised of trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including bacteriophages. The microbiota is a very complex ecosystem that exhibits dynamic stability with each of its components and the host organism. Impressively, there are greater than 10-times more bacteria within the human body than there are human cells.

The stability and dynamic equilibrium of the human microbiota is of primary interest to the HMI, as disturbance of this equilibrium can lead to variety of incurable pathologies, including certain types of cancers, metabolic disorders, and neurodegenerative disorders. A healthy microbiota is maintained via numerous factors. Notably, one of the most important and most poorly studied of these factors are the non-living genetic elements (NLGE), which are comprised of viruses, cell free DNA and RNA, and other compounds that play an important role in shaping the microbiome.

The study NLGE as regulators of microbiota maintenance is a critical next step for the future of medicine, and could lead to the discovery of fundamentally new ways to effectively prevent and treat human diseases.

We have already made initial breakthrough discoveries and are in the process of expanding our research in this area.


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