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The Living Gut
25 June 2017

The Living Gut

Our gut plays host to millions of harmless bacteria that make up our gut microbiome, which plays important roles in our immune and nervous systems, and our metabolism. In order to analyse this relationship further, researchers visualised six different Bacteroides bacterial species in the mouse gut by genetically engineering them to each produce a unique fluorescent protein. The team could then pinpoint where in the gut each type of bacteria was located (pictured) and control the activity of specific bacterial genes. These types of tools are an important starting point in addressing questions about the relationship between the microbiome and us, and could possibly advance research into how normal gut bacteria can be used for therapeutic benefits.

Written by Katie Panteli

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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