The vast virome

Scientists are just beginning to get a handle on the many roles of viruses in the human ecosystem

By Tina Hesman Saey, 15:27 PM December 23, 2013

Studying complex diseases is like trying to solve a massive jigsaw puzzle with a blank box cover and who knows how many missing pieces. Scientists now realize that human genes form the borders of many disorders. But it turns out that the picture can’t be filled in without considering microbes, especially the bacteria and viruses that make the human body home.

Four years ago, evolutionary geneticist Vicente PĂ©rez-Brocal found himself trying to complete the Crohn’s disease puzzle. As a member o...

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