Despite being considered by many as a relatively modern field of research, the first descriptions of human-associated microbiota date back to the 1670s-1680s, when Antonie van Leeuwenhoek started using his newly developed, handcrafted microscopes. In this Foreword, we highlight the foundations of the field. Read more Your browser does not support the audio element.
The microbes that live with us from cradle to grave
Inside your body there are trillions of microscopic organisms: bacteria, viruses, fungi and archaea – collectively known as the microbiota. Over the past decade, we’ve learnt that these communities help to shape our physiology and contribute to our wellbeing. But there are still many questions: When do we acquire our first microbes? How does our microbiota change throughout our lives and how do these changes differ between people or contribute to disease?