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2014 News in Brief



What’s Going On in Your Gut?

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Image of bacterium, Enterococcus faecalis Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionNobody really knows how the trillions of bacteria living in each person’s digestive tract affect human health. As described recently in the journal Genome Biology, Professor Eric Alm and colleagues charted fluctuations in bacterial populations in two research subjects for a year, and found that specific dietary and lifestyle changes produced specific daily variations in the populations of different bacteria. Eventually it might be possible to generate data that could produce a personalized monitoring system for people suffering from diseases that occasionally flare up, such as inflammatory bowel disease. The monitoring system might be able to detect an oncoming flare-up and recommend dietary changes to help avert trouble. Read the full MIT News story: Monitoring the rise and fall of the microbiome-0724