Gut bacteria come in three flavors | Science News

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Gut bacteria come in three flavors

And everybody has one favorite

By
3:03pm, April 20, 2011

There are three types of people in this world, and by their bacteria ye shall know them.

A consortium of researchers from Europe and Japan examined the DNA profiles of bacteria in fecal samples taken from 39 people belonging to six different nationalities. Each had a diverse group of microbes, but closer analysis revealed that the bacteria fall into three major types of communities, the researchers report online April 20 in Nature.

Previous studies had suggested that each person may have their own unique mix of intestinal microbes, but the new study takes “a more sophisticated” look, says George Weinstock, a geneticist at Washington University in St. Louis. Identifying distinct conglomerates of bacteria will aid scientists in determining if certain mixes of microbes contribute to health and disease, says Weinstock, who was not involved with the study. “That’s going to be terribly important for understanding why people are different

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