Though invisible to the naked eye, the microbiome makes up around 0.3% of our total body mass and is equivalent to the number of cells in our human body. The complex relationship between the human body and the microbiome can be observed in processes as drastic as the manifestation of diseases and as simple as the absorption of nutrients. These small but mighty microorganisms hold sizable power in influencing the way our body functions. With increasing knowledge of the field, we are starting to explore how to manipulate it to improve our health and the outcome of disease.

Drawing parallels from the vast universe we reside in, the cover of this issue depicts the tiny universes that reside within us. Like the universe, the human body is complex and full of intricacies. While we marvel at the bountiful stars above us, unable to fathom the grandness of it all, inside us is a massive galaxy of bacteria. Though already expansive, there is still much to unearth.

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”

Carl Sagan
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