The bacteria in the gut – known as the microbiome – have in recent years emerged as a focal point of scientific exploration, with their intricate roles in our metabolism, nutrition, and overall health coming into sharp focus. Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have now made a discovery that could lead to a better understanding of and treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Over millions of years of co-evolution with humans, gut bacteria have become indispensable for the proper functioning of our immune system. The gut is a constantly changing organ, undergoing structural, chemical, and mechanical changes and having to adapt to this dynamic environment.

A major mechanism that makes such a dynamic adaptation possible is their ability to undergo rapid genomic changes due to a trait known as plasticity. Professor Naama Geva-Zatorsky and her team at Technion’s Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and their collaborators have been investigating this for years.

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