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We never walk alone. Across the landscape of our bodies, trillions of microbes accompany us on the journey of life, some of them riding it out in the body’s soft bits from first to dying breath.

A decade or so ago, the human microbiome was a revolutionary concept. Its unknown links to disease intrigued researchers across the globe. Now, some microbiome researchers are trying to usher in a new phase, in which modern tools and analytical approaches can show the connection between microbes and disease, and edge the field closer to potential treatments.

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