Guardians of the Gut at The Royal Society

Join the Hall Lab at this year’s Summer Science Exhibition Monday 2 July – Sunday 8 July in London. Come learn about the microbiota and check out our giant interactive model gut and learn about your friendly bacteria!

Hands-on at the exhibit
• Walk through a giant interactive gut, exploring the roles of resident microbes
• Discover how different factors like diet and antibiotics impact your gut microbes at our stations
• Take our microbiota quiz that explore the latest developments in beneficial bacterial therapies

How can we look after the trillions of beneficial bacteria inside our gut?

Our bodies are home to a diverse population of microbes– our ‘microbiota’ – and they have a wide range of important effects that start at birth. At this exhibit you can explore the amazing variety of bacteria that colonise our gut, and the roles they play in our growth, development and wellbeing.

Beneficial bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium, are living in our gut right from the start of our lives and are important for our healthy development. They help us to digest our food, and they are crucial to building a strong immune system. When these microbial communities are disturbed, for example through antibiotic use or dietary changes, it may predispose us to allergies and chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. Our team at the Quadram Institute are researching how our birth and conditions in early life can change our gut microbiota and how this can impact our health. We are developing ways to improve and protect the bacterial ecosystem inside us, to help us stay healthy and to treat disease.