November 4, 2016 – Microbiome Specificity


Anchor lead:  Why do some people have gut bacteria that may cause cancer and others don’t? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Do gut bacteria play a role in colon cancer development?  Francis Giardiello, a gastroenterologist and colon cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, is studying the role of biofilms, a type of sheet of cells, formed by some bacteria in the colon that may be involved.  Giardiello says everyone’s microbiome, or population of bacteria, is different.

Giardiello: Why one person would have a different microbiome from another is a very interesting question, and it may be related to diet.  Even though when we talk about the cause of colon cancer being diet and lifestyle, it may be that diet and lifestyle is working through what type of microbiome individuals have.  :20

Yet the impact of some biofilms is being identified.

Giardiello: If you take these human biofilms, and you grind them up and you feed them to particular types of mice, these mice can develop colon and intestinal cancers and polyps.  :11

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.