The search for good bacteria

November 1, 2002

Brussels, 31 Oct 2002

Microbe Diagnostics, an EU funded project is developing new techniques to enable scientists to quickly identify bacteria in the gut based on their DNA.

The microbial community resident in the human intestinal tract is key to influencing the health and well-being of humans. However the intestinal ecosystem is very complex with more than 400 different bacterial species in our intestines, all of which are interacting with each other and with the food we eat.

Being able to identify which bacterium is which, and what they are doing, is essential to understanding how the ecosystem works and how to manipulate it (or prevent it from being disturbed) in order to restore or maintain health.

New techniques being developed by the project include flow cytometry, enabling rapid and reliable analysis of a large number of samples. This will be used to determine what bacteria are usually present in the intestines of healthy people, and how this ecosystem changes with age, diet and lifestyle. It will also be used to determine how the ecosystem differs between healthy and sick people, and which bacteria are involved in chronic intestinal diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This knowledge will allow the development of therapeutic approaches, including beneficially modifying the intestinal ecosystem.

For further information about the project, please visit: ndex.html

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns