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Published on Jul 11, 2012
Copyright Broad Institute, 2013. All rights reserved. The digestive tract is home to a vast community of bacteria, many of which help to keep us healthy. In some people, the interactions between their own gut bacteria and their immune system are not always peaceful. Their immune systems' reactions to bacteria in the digestive tract result in chronic inflammation and lead to inflammatory bowel disease. In this 2011 Midsummer Nights' Science lecture, Wendy Garrett discusses inflammatory bowel disease, gut microbial communities, and current scientific efforts to understand the role of gut bacteria in this disease.