In a few words, what is the microbiome?
The microbiome is the collective name for all the tiny microbes that live in and on our bodies. These microbes help us digest our food, keep us healthy, and even affect our moods! Studying the microbiome is a new and exciting field of science that is helping us understand how our bodies work.
The Microbiome: Tiny Creatures with Big Effects
Microbiome: A microbiome is a collection of microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protists, that live on and inside the human body. Symbiotic Relationship: A symbiotic relationship is a type of relationship between two species where at least one of the species benefits from the other. Gut Flora: Gut flora is the collective term for all the microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses, that live inside the digestive tract.
Microbes live inside of us, in our guts, and help to break down food, regulate our immune systems, and produce vitamins and other important molecules. The human body contains more microbial cells than human cells. In fact, the microbiome of the human body has been estimated to contain over 100 trillion microbial cells! Some bacteria in the microbiome can help to protect us against infection by competing with potentially harmful bacteria for space and nutrients.
Did you know?
What is the importance of the microbiome to human health and well-being?
What are some ways we can positively impact the microbiome?
How does your lifestyle affect the microbiome?
What have you learned about the microbiome so far?
Brain break: Draw a dinosaur driving a pirate ship through outer space
Question: What role does a microbiome play in human health? Clues: • Microbiomes are made up of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. • Microbiomes can help the body fight off disease. • Microbiomes are found in and on many different parts of the body. In pairs: Select and solve one of the tasks: A. In pairs, research the role of microbiomes in human health and draw a diagram of your findings. B. In pairs, create a poster that explains the role of microbiomes in human health.
What is the microbiome?
- The collection of microorganisms that live in and on the human body
- A medical condition caused by bacteria
- A type of microscope used to study bacteria
Which of the following is NOT a part of the human microbiome?
True or False: The microbiome only consists of bacteria.
What role does the microbiome play in digestion?
- Transports oxygen throughout the body
- Produces insulin for regulating blood sugar levels
- Helps break down food and absorb nutrients
What can disrupt the balance of the microbiome?
- Regular exercise
- Antibiotic use
- Drinking plenty of water
Work together in pairs: What are two major ways that the human microbiome can influence our health?