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A free online compendium called the Human Oral Microbiome Database (HOMD) is to house the first comprehensive database of all known oral microbiomes known to live in the mouth.
Located at www.homd.org, the site will hold approximately 600 distinct micro-organisms that have been organized by grantees of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) which is part of the National Institutes of Health and the nation's leading funder of research on oral, dental and craniofacial health.
Microbiome studies aim to define how microbes play a role in dental health and more specifically common chronic disease such as tooth decay and periodontal disease.
The database categorizes each microbe according to its 16S rRNA sequence that allows the microbes to be placed in a family tree showing how they are related to one another and online tools to view and analyze all of their genes and proteins.
The project was initially launched in December 2007 and called the Human Microbiome Project, aiming to sequence all of the genes, or genomes, of 600 representative micro-organisms sampled from microbial communities in the mouth, skin, digestive tract, nose and female urogenital tract, with additional studies underway for development.
Dr. Bruce Paster of The Forsyth Institute and project scientist said: "Since oral micro-organisms appear in infections throughout the human body, the HOMD database certainly will be useful to physicians."
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