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U-M seminars: The role of microbes in maintaining a habitable planet, personal health

  • Contact Michael Dority, 734-764-3016, or Jim Erickson, 734-647-1842,


DATE: 7 p.m. Monday, May 16, and 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, 2016

EVENT: Two free evening seminars to discuss the diverse roles of microbial communities.

In Monday night's session, "Invisible Influence: Microbiomes in the World," award-winning science writer Ed Yong and University of Chicago scientist Jack Gilbert will discuss how microbes affect the lives of humans, animals and plants, and how we might manipulate them to improve human and environmental health. Moderator: Nick Wigginton of Science magazine.

In Tuesday night's session, "Fecal Transplants: Scientific and Ethical Dimensions," Vincent Young of the U-M Medical School and Pilar Ossorio of the University of Wisconsin Law School will summarize the current understanding of fecal microbiota transplantation, including the ethical and legal implications for the potential widespread use of fecal transplants. Moderator: Journalist Emilia Askari of the University of Michigan.

PLACE: 4th Floor Amphitheater, U-M Rackham Graduate School, 915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor

SPONSORS: U-M Center for Microbial Systems, U-M Integrated Training in Microbial Systems program, U-M Host Microbiome Initiative, U-M Rackham Graduate School

CONTACT: Reporters interested in learning more about the science behind these events can contact U-M microbiologist Thomas Schmidt of the Center for Microbial Systems, 734-763-8206, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

INFORMATION: The evening seminars are being held in connection with a Michigan Meeting titled "Unseen Partners: Manipulating Microbial Communities that Support Life on Earth." For more information about the meeting, which is intended for scientists and which requires registration, see