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
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (the new name for the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre) the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.