New research — appearing yesterday in the journal Nature — has now identified almost 2,000 new gut bacterial species that scientists have never cultured in a lab before.
However, Finn goes on to note, “Researchers are now at a stage where they can use a range of computational tools to complement and sometimes guide lab work, in order to uncover new insights into the human gut.”
Finn and colleagues explain that many bacterial species have “maintained a low profile,” so to speak, because scientists have only found them in very low numbers in the gut, or they cannot survive outside of the gut environment.
“Computational methods allow us to get an idea of the many bacterial species that live in the human gut, how they evolved, and what kind of roles they may play within their microbial community,” says study co-author Alexandre Almeida.
At the same time, the team notes that the present study has made the researchers more aware of a large gap in research around gut bacteria.
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