New work, led by Pamela Silver of The Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard (USA), appears to have overcome this problem. The research, which has been called "incredibly exciting" by other scientists, involved the design of a bacterial trigger circuit that detects and responds to tetrathionate—a transient product of reactive oxygen species.

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s could have a direct relationship with the intestine and, therefore, with our gut microbiota as well, says neurologist and leading researcher in the field, Filip Scheperjans.

A recent study led by Dr. Alex Mira (FISABIO, Spain) and Dr. Maria C. Jenmalm (Linköping University, Sweden) and researchers at IATA-CSIC (Spain) has presented an analysis of a total of 192 faecal samples from 28 healthy children and 20 children developing allergic symptoms at age seven, from when the children were 1 and 12 months of age. It has found that children who develop asthma or allergies later in life have altered immune responses to intestinal bacteria in the gut mucosal environment at an early age.