Human distal gut microbiome

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The distal gut and its associated microbiota is a new frontier in the quest to understand human biology and evolution. The renaissance in this field has been partly driven by advances in sequencing technology and also by the application of a variety of ‘omic’ technologies in a systems biology framework. In the initial stages of understanding what constitutes the gut, culture-independent methods, primarily inventories of 16S rRNA genes, have provided a clear view of the main taxonomic groups ofBacteriain the distal gut and we are now moving towards defining the functions that reside in the distal gut microbiome. This review will explore recent advances in the area of the distal gut and the use of a variety of omic approaches to determine what constitutes this fascinating collection of microbes.

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