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  • Joan Rothchild Hardin

The Gut Microbiome – Our Second Genome

Until recently, it was thought that the uterus and placenta were germ-free to create a sterile environment keeping the developing baby safe from infections. But recent research has demonstrated that fetuses as young as one week have a complex collection of microbes living in their guts – and the placental microbes most closely resemble microbes living in the mothers’ mouths.


To learn more about this new finding, see Not Sterile, After All: The Placenta’s Microbiome. (Collins, 2014)