Uneasy Truce

People and their microbes have long coexisted, mainly in an uneasy peace. While bacteria can cause disease — Helicobacter pylori is behind gastric ulcers — the lack of bacteria is also being linked to disease, writes Michael Specter in this week's issue of The New Yorker. As little as 15 years ago, some doctors were saying that "the only good Helicobacter pylori is a dead Helicobacter pylori."

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