The brain is the final frontier in science. It is the most complex organ in the human body, and Australian researchers are making surprising discoveries. As of May 2024, a multidisciplinary team of researchers from Neuroscience Research Australia embarked on answering a burning question: is there a microbiome living in the brain?

The brain is traditionally thought of as a sterile environment, which has experts debating these early findings. While emerging research world indicates the possibility of organisms making their way into our brains, it is still too early to tell. If there is a microbiome, it may be playing a role in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia, which nearly half a million Australians are living with.

Demos Hammond asks Dr Claire Shepherd about recent research into the brain in Australia and the possibility of there being a microbiome.

What exactly is a microbiome and what does it mean if we have organisms living in our brains?

Image: Credit: Shutterstock – Berit Kessler

Produced By: Demos Hammond

Featured In Story: Dr Claire Shepherd, and

First aired on The Wire, Wednesday 29 May 2024