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Gut harmony: Why the right mix of microbes is important to our health

By Dyani Lewis

Microbial ecologist Prof Rob Knight explains why we need the millions of microbes that make a home in and on our bodies.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

I’m Dyani Lewis, thanks for joining us. We are not alone, in fact each of us is teeming with bacteria and other microbes. From the soles of our feet to the follicles on our head and every crevice in between, trillions of microbes form specialised ecosystems collectively known as our microbiota. The microbes that live on and in us outnumber our own cells by more than ten to one and far from being mere freeloaders many of our microscopic passengers are essential residents, friendly bacteria that helpers to digest our food, synthesise vital nutrients such as vitamins and keep pathogens at bay. The rapidly growing field of microbiota research is starting to generate some tantalising results linking our microbiota to everything from our weight to our moods and behaviour. But, how is it that our microbes influence our health? Could we one day start to treat illnesses by manipulating our microbial communities? I’m joined on Up Close today via Skype by a world expert in the field of microbial ecology. Professor Rob Knight is from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Bio Frontiers Institute and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, all at the University of Colorado in Boulder....

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.