The opportunities for the development of new tools in health care, drug discovery, the environment, agriculture and food production are increasingly limited by the availability of novel chemical compounds. Innovative approaches and solutions are needed.
The microbiome is known to contribute significantly to human health and disease, to regulate global biogeochemistry, and to harbour much of the planet’s genetic diversity. Microbes play important roles in ecosystems of all types. Despite their small size, the sheer number of microbes living on the planet will influence resource management and distribution. They evolve and adapt rapidly; they provide a largely untapped resource for innovation and technological advances in many fields.
Its potential for applications in medicine, the environment, agriculture, energy production and nutrition is clear, yet an innovative exploration of the power of micro-organisms is needed.