Researchers work to understand, harness power of bacteria

Researchers are revolutionizing the way we think of the human body, which is much more than a collection of human cells and systems. Myriad studies are focused on the human microbiome, which comprises some 100 trillion bacteria representing hundreds of species. The systems have many roles, from aiding digestion to releasing vitamins. Researchers are working to understand how the system can go awry and the role that plays in bowel and liver conditions. Physicians also are harnessing the power of bacteria, using fecal transplants to rebalance the system in the intestines of people who are infected with C. difficile. The Economist (8/18), (8/27)