White House announces launch of new microbiome initiative

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The White House is launching a new national program to study microbiomes found on the human body and across different ecosystems, following calls from scientists to unlock the secrets of the microbes that have a big impact on people’s health and the environment.

The new National Microbiome Initiative will start with a federal investment of $121 million in funding from several agencies and will include private support from more than 100 outside organizations, including $100 million over four years from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to a White House fact sheet that was posted online.

It will include $20 million in new research grants from the National Institutes of Health, as well as $16 million from the National Science Foundation, $15.9 million from the Department of Agriculture, $12.5 million from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and $10 million from the Department of Energy.

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The project has three main goals: to support research, to create new technologies, and to get more people involved in microbiome studies, according to the fact sheet.

The study of microbiomes isn’t limited to the human body, though. Soils, oceans, and environments across the planet all have their own microbial inhabitants, and the new initiative will attempt to study these flora in all forms.

Read full, original post: Obama administration to launch microbiome initiative, heeding scientists’ calls

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