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A community of microbes arranged in colonies on the human tongue form what scientists refer to as a biofilm. In a paper published recently in Cell Biology, Forsyth Institute researcher Gary Borisy and his colleagues describe these different types of oral bacteria and provide a stunning visual representation of where they congregate.

“Bacteria on the tongue are a lot more than just a random pile. They are more like an organ of our bodies,” says Borisy.

Learn more about the research, which was featured in Popular Science and NIDCR News.