Colorful and creative illustration of molecules forming a human body
Beyond the gut: unlocking the secrets of the microbiome

University of Chicago scientists are forging unexpected collaborations in a quest to understand and harness the capability of microbes.

Answering parents' questions about kids and germs

So Gilbert, Faculty Director of the Microbiome Center, and Rob Knight, PhD, Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation at the University of California, San Diego, teamed up to provide some answers in their new book, "Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child's Developing Immune System" (St. Martin's Press, $25.99). The book is an accessible guide to the role of the microbiome - the tiny organisms in, on and around our bodies - in health and well-being. In the introduction, the authors write that their goal is "to present you, too, with the best scientific advice available about the microbiome and your children's health and development."

Yearlong survey tracks the microbiome of a newly opened hospital

A 12-month study mapping bacterial diversity within a hospital should help hospitals worldwide better understand how to encourage beneficial microbial interactions and decrease potentially harmful contact.