Our intestines are home to trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms. Collectively known as the microbiome, these organisms, and the metabolites they produce, are mostly harmless or even beneficial to their human hosts. For example, interactions between gut bacteria and the immune system can help prepare the body to fight off pathogenic bacteria that enter the gastrointestinal tract. Long-term changes in the composition of the gut microbiome are associated with a wide variety of illnesses, from various types of cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. But researchers are now beginning to realize that the composition of the microbiome also varies over the course of the day. John Brooks is interested in what causes these fluctuations and the implications this has for human health and disease.
Link to the full story here.
(Dr. Brooks is a new NJ ACTS TL1 Faculty mentor.)