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Predicting microbial interactions in the human gut

March 1, 2021

The human gut consists of a complex community of microbes that consume and secrete hundreds of small molecules—a phenomenon called cross-feeding. However, it is challenging to study these processes experimentally. A new study, published in Nature Communications, uses models to predict cross-feeding interactions between microbial species in the gut. Predictions from such computational methods could eventually help doctors get a more complete understanding of gut health.


March 1, 2021


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Gut bacteria help digest dietary fiber, release important antioxidant

January 19, 2021

Dietary fiber found in grains is a large component of many diets, but little is understood about how we digest the fiber, as humans lack enzymes to break down the complex molecules. Some species of gut bacteria break down the fiber in such a way that it not only becomes digestible, but releases ferulic acid, an important antioxidant with multiple health benefits, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.


January 19, 2021


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Environmental contaminants alter gut microbiome, health

May 22, 2020

The microbes that inhabit our bodies are influenced by what we eat, drink, breathe and absorb through our skin, and most of us are chronically exposed to natural and human-made environmental contaminants. In a new paper, scientists from Illinois review the research linking dozens of environmental chemicals to changes in the gut microbiome and associated health challenges.

The review is published in the journal Toxicological Sciences.


May 22, 2020


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Mathematical models provide snapshot of human gut microbial community

December 9, 2019

Microbial communities can be found everywhere – from lakes to the soil on the ground, they are omnipresent yet invisible to the naked eye. Within those environments there exist dynamic communities which fluctuate in response to environmental changes. One such example is the human gut microbiome, which is comprised of microbes that influence the overall landscape of the gut.


December 9, 2019


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