We discuss a microscopic approach for studying nuclear matter and
finite nuclei through the use of realistic nuclear forces derived within the
framework of chiral effective field theory. Emphasis will be given to the
importance of the leading-order chiral three-nucleon interactions and how their implementation in nuclear many-body calculations may be facilitated by
employing alternatively density-dependent two-nucleon forces. Applications to
finite nuclei include the description of the anomalously-long beta-decay
lifetime of carbon-14 and the construction of microscopic nuclear energy
density functionals. We then turn to a description of infinite nuclear matter
which we study within the framework of Landau's theory of normal Fermi liquids.