At Wee Beasties, blogger Kevin Bonham notes the increasing evidence that microbes, particularly gut microbes, play a large role in health and disease. Previously, studying these organisms was difficult, as many of them cannot easily be grown outside the body, but with sequencing tools getting at these microbes has become a bit easier. Bonham references a commentary in Nature Immunology from two Australian researchers who argue that "changes in diet and associated changes in the gut microbiota are driving the increasing incidence of inflammatory disease in developed countries." And that opens up new possibilities for therapeutics and probiotics. "This field is in its infancy, and there are many variables that could confound any findings," Bonham adds. "Besides that, there are many technical hurdles that prevent direct manipulation and controlled experimentation."
All the Gut Bugs
Dec 28, 2010