Summary #180

Microbes in the human body swap genes, even across tissue boundaries, study indicates

sciencedaily.com
  • By using a novel molecular data mining method, scientists have found that bacteria in our bodies swap genes across different tissues.
  • The team used genomic information to build ‘family trees’ of human bacteria and checked them against trees of microbial genes.
  • This method allowed them to identify horizontal gene transfer - the direct transfer of genes between organisms outside of reproduction.
  • Horizontal gene transfer between microbes in our bodies is 30% higher than is typically seen in nature.

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