Microscopic studies carried out on the healthy human body have shown that the human cells are exceeded by bacterial cells — about one to ten. The effects of these associations of human-associated microbes upon human development, physiology, immunity, and nutrition have been unknown because of the lack of study in this area. However, this has changed with the recent establishment of the NIH Common Fund Human Microbiome Project (HMP) which has the objective of generating research resources that will enable an extensive understanding of the human microbiota and an in-depth analysis of the part they play in human health and disease. The traditional approach to the study of microorganisms is as cultures in the laboratory — a petri dish and lots and lots of love. 🙂 Nevertheless, the majority of human-associated microbial species have not been segregated successfully in the laboratory. Apparently, the growth of microorganisms is dependent upon some specific conditions or objects that are yet to be matched in the laboratory.