Martin J. Blaser and Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello are investigating the microbiome, the vast constellation of bodily bacteria that regulate our health—and may hold the key to medicine’s future.
When microbiologist Martin J. Blaser gives lectures on the microbiome—the term used to describe the trillions of competing and cooperating bacteria, or microbes, teeming in and on our bodies—he commonly invokes the nation of Greenland. As he gets underway, Blaser invites his listeners to imagine a satellite photograph of the nation 30 years ago, entirely covered in ice and snow. Imagine it again 10 years later, he implores, when there is evidence of ice and snow retreating. And now imagine a satellite shot of Greenland today, revealing significant loss of ice and snow—further evidence of the damage wrought by a changing climate.
This article originally appeared in Rutgers Magazine.