there are some cases in which a proximal gut sample can be distinguished from a distal gut sample, overall the picture derived from fecal samples is similar to that derived from colon or cecum sampling of either the mucosal or the luminal content. He noted data collected by Paul Eckburg and colleagues (2005) showing that microbial communities can be matched to individuals regardless of whether the microbial sequencing data came from biopsy or fecal samples. Turnbaugh speculated that some biogeographic structure probably exists, but at a finer scale.

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