How to Get Along--Friendly Microbes in a Hostile World

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Science  01 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5484, pp. 1483-1484
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5484.1483

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Microbiologists have long been puzzled by the finding that the gut mucosa does not respond to the myriad varieties of bacteria that normally reside in the gut. As Xavier and Podolsky explain in their Perspective, this may be because bacteria that are indigenous to the gut have learned ways to switch off pathways in gut epithelial cells that lead to switching on of genes involved in inflammation ( Neish et al .).