The study of microorganisms has been revolutionized by complementing the centuries-old art of microbiology with next-generation sequencing of complex bacterial communities (collectively termed “the microbiome”) within and around the eukaryotic host. Microbiome research initially focused on associations between certain microbial compositional features and human medical conditions. The field has quickly evolved, unraveling causative links between distinct microbial consortia, their collective functions, and impacts on host pathophysiology. In addition to the microbiome’s emerging role as an orchestrator of biological processes, it also has plasticity in its composition and function, thereby constituting an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. In this Focus, the first in a special series to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Science Translational Medicine, we introduce a paper published in the journal a decade ago and discuss progress in developing translational approaches involving the host-microbiome interface (Fig. 1).
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