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Just a phage? How bacteria's predators can shape the gut microbiome

The gut microbiome is a complex, interconnected ecosystem of species. And, like any ecosystem, some organisms are predators and some are prey. A new study led by investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Wyss Institute investigates the impact of bacteriophage, viruses that infect and kill bacteria. They find that phage can have a profound impact on the dynamics of the gut microbiome, not only affecting certain species directly but also having a cascading effect on others. Phage may also be impacting their human host by modulating metabolites, including chemical substances found in the brain. The team, which includes first author Bryan Hsu, PhD, and co-corresponding senior author Pamela Silver, PhD, at the Wyss Institute, and Lynn Bry, MD, PhD, at the Brigham and director of the Massachusetts Host-Microbiome Center, has published its results in Cell Host & Microbe.  Read more...

 

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