Getting Your Microbes Analyzed

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Posted: Monday, November 4, 2013 8:00 pm | Updated: 8:08 pm, Mon Nov 4, 2013.

After spending months working on a series of stories about the trillions of friendly microbes that live in and on our bodies, I decided it might be interesting to explore my own microbiome.

So I pulled out my credit card and paid the $99 needed to sign up for the , one of a couple of "citizen science" or crowdsourced microbiome projects.

Organizers of the American Gut Project are recruiting thousands of people to donate their microbes to science — along with lots of personal information — to help researchers learn more about the trillions of microbes that inhabit the human body.

"The fact that they may play a big role in your susceptibility to disease and health is profound. I mean, it's astounding," says , who helped dream up the American Gut Project. "It changes everything. I think it's a watershed moment for human health."

Read more or listen to the podcast at NPR.org

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