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Researchers in Texas have succeeded in effectively turning gut bacteria inside the intestines of worms “on” and “off” by applying different colors of light, via an optogenetic control mechanism. The work helped the research team led by Baylor College of Medicine’s Meng Wang and Rice University’s Jeffrey Tabor show that colanic acid (CA), a metabolite, is produced by intestinal bacteria, rather than digested in the stomach.
Previous research conducted by Wang indicated that CA extended the lifespans of worms by as much as 50% — a value that corresponds to more than four weeks in a laboratory environment. The new advance succeeded in restricting CA production to the gut of worms, ultimately…READ MORE