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Advancing understanding of inflammatory bowel disease

Narrator:       This is Science Today. Using advanced DNA-sequencing techniques, some 200 members of the Human Microbiome Project from nearly 80 research institutions are mapping the human body's bacterial ecosystem. Katherine Pollard, an associate investigator at the University of California, San Francisco-affiliated Gladstone Institutes, has been focused on bacteria in the human gut.

Pollard:          A direction my lab's particularly interested in with regard to the gut is understanding autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and figuring out whether there are certain microbes that are more abundant or certain microbial functions that are changing in an individual that's autoimmune versus healthy.  

Narrator:       The Human Microbiome Project aims to improve the understanding of bacteria that resides in and on the human body.

Pollard:          By understanding healthy people and what microorganisms live in and on us, we will be able to then look at people in different states of disease and have a baseline to compare back to.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.