Gut Instinct

New mouse study reveals a connection between intestinal bacteria and behavior

By Stephen Ornes, 14:23 PM June 22, 2011


Caption: This is a microscopic closeup of E. coli, your single-cell frenemy. The kinds of E. coli that live in your intestines help everything run smoothly. But when E. coli is ingested through contaminated food, the bacteria can cause big problems for humans.



Bacteria, a type of germ, are tiny organisms, each made of a single cell. They’re far too small to see with the naked eye — but don’t let their tiny size make you think they’re not important. You should get to know bacteria. For every cell in your brain, bones, organs and blood, there are 10 bacteria. They’re not going anywhere, so you might as well get used to them.


Bacteria can be helpful: Some live in the intestines and aid with digestion. They can also be harmful: Some bacteria cause s...

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