11 November 2009
Vol 1, Issue 6

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER The human gut. A long tube of smooth muscle with an epithelial lining, the gut digests food, assisted by a diverse colony of microbes. Because it is difficult to study in people how these microbes help and hinder our health, Turnbaugh et al. have transplanted these microbiomes from the human gut to the guts of mice raised in sterile conditions. These mice can then serve as surrogate experimental subjects, allowing controlled studies of the interaction of gut microbes and host metabolism and health. [CREDIT: C. BICKEL, AAAS]