microbiome

noun
mi·cro·bi·ome | \ˌmī-krō-ˈbī-ˌōm \

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

After their trip, scientists will take a look inside different organs like the liver and spleen, to better understand any links between inflammation, altered metabolism, and changes to the microbiome. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "NASA's Astro-Mice Will Test What Space Does to Your Gut," 28 June 2018 The science of microbiome is another exciting area. Sandy Bauers, Philly.com, "How high-tech genomics - and simple aspirin - could make your joint replacement better," 17 May 2018 Even so, given that clinicians are examining the reintroduction of gut microbes to treat a number of conditions where that gut microbiome is out of whack, using antibodies could help establish beneficial bacterial colonies, Mantis says. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "By wrapping itself in antibodies, this bacterium may become a stable, beneficial part of the gut," 3 May 2018 But after noticing that mice with low levels of IgA had abnormal microbiomes, Fagarasan proposed that IgA also played a role in maintaining and controlling bacteria in the body. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "By wrapping itself in antibodies, this bacterium may become a stable, beneficial part of the gut," 3 May 2018 In one 2013 study, researchers even found that dog owners had similar skin microbiomes to their furry friends. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "A Surprising Way Dogs Are Similar to Humans," 23 Apr. 2018 THE MICROBIOME Elysium is supporting a research project at Harvard to examine how the gut microbiome influences levels of NAD+ in the body. Good Housekeeping, "Unlocking Your Body’s Potential to Live Healthier, Longer," 12 June 2018 The Argument Researchers stress that therapies based on microbiome science will take time to develop. Fortune, "Why Washing Your Hands Too Much Could Make You Sick," 12 June 2018 There is a huge interest in the organisms that humans host, especially in the gut microbiome. Helen Bynum, WSJ, "‘Microbia’ Review: The Many Tiny Worlds Among Us," 12 July 2018

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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12 Oct 2018

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The first known use of microbiome was in 1952

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microbiome

noun
mi·cro·bi·ome | \ˌmī-krō-ˈbī-ˌōm \

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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