The Human Microbiome at the Eden Project

7 July 2014

The Institute's Professor Michael Wilson has been appointed senior scientist on the Science Advisory Board for the new Human Microbiome Project at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

The Human Microbiome: the Invisible World of your Body is a new permanent exhibition – supported by family-focused events, web content and formal science education programmes – which will explore the unfolding story of the human microbiome, providing "new ways of understanding and linking human health and planetary health in a rapidly-changing world."

In our bodies bacterial cells outnumber our cells 10:1. We are not individuals, we are ecosystems. Popular understanding that microbes cause illness is changing. We need them. They also regulate our bodies, help prevent diseases and disorders, even affect mood and personality. These new biomedical discoveries could influence how we look at health, nutrition, medicines and our lifestyle decisions in the future.

The Eden Project

The exhibition will consist of a darkened aquarium with spot-lit tanks featuring the microbial communities that inhabit different parts of the body represented by a range of interactive artistic media.

The project will engage the public with discussion of biodiversity, the interdependencies between humans, plants, microbes and their environment, and the implications for the health of all these ecosystems.

Find out more about the project, including the call to artists (deadline 18 July 2014)