Professor Jack A. Gilbert describes the microbiome

I’m an ecologist but I’m also a professor of surgery. So I’m applying ecology like the same stuff you’d find in trees, and you know, farmers and conservationists looking at how forests work, or how a grasslands and prairies function, right, but I’m applying that research to our bodies. The bacteria that live inside our bodies are also an ecosystem. So I can understand the ecological dynamics of that ecosystem and use it to redefine the health of the person.

The microbiome is an ecosystem inside your body. It’s the bacteria, the fungi, viruses – they live in your gut, on your skin, in your mouth. We also find them in our homes. Your home environment, the walls and the floors, also have a microbiome, and so do all the animals and plants, and the oceans, and soils all over the world; they all have a microbiome, a microbial ecosystem full of all of these tiny unimaginably small organisms that are changing the world around us.

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Professor Jack A. Gilbert, Ph.D., Director of the Microbiome Center and Professor of Surgery, University of Chicago; Group Leader for Microbial Ecology, Argonne National Laboratory.