They can be found in places such as the skin, the gut and the mouth, and their significance in many chronic diseases is just beginning to be understood.
In a recent Nature Biotechnology interview, and a paper in Drug Development Research, GSK scientists discussed the gut microbiome and how it has been linked to the development of conditions including obesity and type 2 diabetes.
There is growing research evidence that the composition of micro-organisms in the guts of obese and lean animals are different. Scientists have even been able to make lean mice obese by giving them gut microbes from an obese mouse. And they've even managed to produce the same results in mice by giving them microbes from obese human subjects1.