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It's a gut feeling

12 Aug 2020 - 08:00

As a gut bacterium, Bifidobacterium longum plays a host of useful roles, including boosting the immune system, degrading certain toxic compounds and repelling certain disease-causing bacteria in the gut, explains Clinton Moodley, who graduates this week with a PhD from the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. B. longum is therefore much-beloved by the pharmaceutical industry, which uses it as a probiotic supplement (so called because these live organisms are thought to be beneficial to the host organism); while the food industry harnesses it as a food additive in yoghurts and the like.

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