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Creative Minds: Can Microbes Influence Mental Health?

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While sitting in microbiology class as a college sophomore, Elaine Hsiao was stunned to learn that the human gut held between as much as 6 pounds of bacteria – twice the weight of an adult human brain. She went on to learn during her graduate studies in neurobiology that these microbes had co-evolved with humans and played important roles in our bodies, aiding digestion and immune function, for example. But more intriguing to her, by far, was new research that suggested that gut bacteria might even be influencing our thoughts, moods and behavior.

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