microbiome

noun
mi·​cro·​bi·​ome | \ ˌmī-krō-ˈbī-ˌōm How to pronounce microbiome (audio) \

Definition of microbiome

1 : a community of microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that inhabit a particular environment and especially the collection of microorganisms living in or on the human body Your body is home to about 100 trillion bacteria and other microbes, collectively known as your microbiome.— Carl Zimmer … what's arguably become the hottest area of medicine: microbiome research, an emerging field that's investigating how the bacteria that live in and on our bodies affect our health.— Sunny Sea Gold
2 : the collective genomes of microorganisms inhabiting a particular environment and especially the human body They form one community among the many that make up the human microbiome: the full genetic complement of bacteria and other organisms at home on your skin, gums, and teeth, in your genital tract, and especially in your gut.— Nathan Wolfe

Examples of microbiome in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While no one yet knows exactly why, patients with various psychiatric disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism-spectrum disorder have significant disruptions in the composition of their gut microbiome. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Feeling Depressed? Bacteria in Your Gut May Be to Blame," 21 Dec. 2020 The six molecular changes that occur during spaceflight include DNA damage, oxidative stress, alterations of telomere length, shifts in the microbiome, mitochondrial dysfunction and gene regulation. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Astronauts experience these key changes in space that could impact their health, new research shows," 25 Nov. 2020 The species of bacteria that make up the microbiome are primarily recruited from the environment. Sasha Greenspan, The Conversation, "Climate warming is altering animals’ gut microbes, which are critical to their health and survival," 28 Sep. 2020 Level two labs deal with slightly more hazardous agents, such as Staphylococcus aureus, an opportunistic pathogen that is also a common part of the body’s microbiome. Rebecca Renner, Science, "How scientists plan to protect Earth from extraterrestrial germs," 11 Dec. 2020 One component of animal health that largely reflects the surrounding environment is the microbiome, the consortium of microbes now known to aid in food digestion, regulating the immune system and protecting against pathogens. Sasha Greenspan, The Conversation, "Climate warming is altering animals’ gut microbes, which are critical to their health and survival," 28 Sep. 2020 Understanding more about these generalists’ ecology and genomic diversity offers a window into the microbiome of the New Arctic. Kimberley R. Miner, Scientific American, "Deep Frozen Arctic Microbes Are Waking Up," 20 Nov. 2020 During that time, ten research teams from the U.S. tested every little physiological, molecular, and cognitive detail of the two men—everything from their gene expression to their bone density to their microbiome. Popular Science, "Humans have lived on the ISS for 20 years—here are the coolest discoveries we’ve made," 3 Nov. 2020 The drug aims to treat imbalances in the microbiome of the gut, which researchers believe may cause inflammation in the brain and may lead to Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Bloomberg.com, "China Alzheimer Drug Seeks Global Legitimacy With U.S. Trial," 4 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'microbiome.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of microbiome

1952, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for microbiome

micro- + biome

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Time Traveler for microbiome

Time Traveler

The first known use of microbiome was in 1952

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Statistics for microbiome

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Microbiome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/microbiome. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for microbiome

microbiome

noun
mi·​cro·​bi·​ome | \ ˌmī-krō-ˈbī-ˌōm How to pronounce microbiome (audio) \

Medical Definition of microbiome

1 : a community of microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that inhabit a particular environment and especially the collection of microorganisms living in or on the human body The intestinal microbiome consists of the microorganisms that inhabit the gut.— Clara Abraham et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, 19 Nov. 2009 Collectively known as the microbiome, this community may play a role in regulating one's risk of obesity, asthma and allergies.— Carrie Arnold, Scientific American, March 2012 The human oral microbiome comprises all microbial species in the oral cavity.— Naomi P. O'Grady, The Journal of the American Medical Association, 20 June 2012
2 : the collective genomes of microorganisms inhabiting a particular environment and especially the human body As part of a new citizen-science initiative called the American Gut project, the lab sequenced my microbiome—that is, the genes not of "me," exactly, but of the several hundred microbial species with whom I share this body.— Michael Pollan, The New York Times, 19 May 2013 Together, the genomes of these microbial symbionts (collectively defined as the microbiome) provide traits that humans did not need to evolve on their own.— Peter J. Turnbaugh et al., Nature, 18 Oct. 2007

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