SlipChip Helps Isolate, Grow Individual Gut Microbe Strains, California Institute of Technology Study

Published: Jun 26, 2014

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The world around us, and certainly within us, is full of bacteria. Within our very guts are millions of individual strains that may have beneficial functions for our bodies, be cause of disease, or simply be resident microbes living peacefully in a hospitable environment. Studying specific species among such a large set of bacteria is difficult because some strains are considerably more numerous, eclipsing others that are difficult to detect and isolate. This has greatly impeded research into the gut’s microbiome. Researchers at Caltech have developed a new method that relies on a microfluidic device, called SlipChip, that can help isolate and culture specific bacteria for laboratory work.

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