Current water-filtering technology is costly, but MIT scientists are testing a simpler and cheaper method that uses wood from white pine trees. Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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Microbiologist Christina Agapakis (left) and artist Sissel Tolass show off the cheese they made with bacteria from human skin. The project was part of Agapakis' graduate thesis at Harvard Medical School. Courtesy of Grow Your Own ... Life After Nature at Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin hide caption

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Illustration by Benjamin Arthur for NPR

He's not just getting a cold. He's building his microbiome. hide caption

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Say hello to your microbiome, Rob Stein. Our intrepid correspondent decided to get his gut bacteria analyzed. Now he's wondering if he needs to eat more garlic and onions. Morgan Walker/NPR hide caption

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Oceans, and the innards of Earth itself, are the final frontiers of our planet. Expect amazing discoveries as explorers document more and more of this unseen realm. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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We may not see them, but we need them. hide caption

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The tale of the tape may be told, in part, by the microbes inside you. hide caption

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Ma Whero from Mischief of Comic Slams collides with Scarface Clawdia of Smash Malice during the Richter City Roller Derby Season Grand Final at TSB Arena on July 21, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand. Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images hide caption

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Lyme disease is spread by deer ticks like this one. A study finds that some people can be reinfected many times with the bacteria that cause the disease. Lauree Feldman/Getty Creative Images hide caption

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