Science News

Bacteria, like people, have complicated relationships: they can either be friendly, neutral, or antagonistic toward each other, and those relationships can change depending on the situations in which they find themselves. As interest in identifying the bacterial species present in the human microbiome that contribute to health and disease has exploded in recent years, so too have efforts to understand how different species of bacteria interact. This knowledge could enable the creation of bacteria-based therapies and tools that could be used to improve human health, produce valuable substances, or repair microbial ecosystems. However, teasing out the relationships that occur simultaneously between multiple species within a consortium of bacteria in a complex environment like the human gut has proven to be a herculean challenge.
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