June’s Cafe Scientifique talk will be presented by Prof Lindsay Hall of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham.

In this talk, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of the gut microbiota, the diverse community of microorganisms living in our digestive tracts. These tiny inhabitants play a crucial role in our overall health, aiding in digestion, synthesising essential nutrients, and bolstering our immune system. However, when this microbial balance is disrupted, it can be linked to a variety of diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, and even mental health disorders. Lindsay will provide background on the microbiota and explore the differences between health and disease states. Finally, she’ll share an exciting vignette about one of her team’s projects focused on the gut microbiota of fragile preterm infants and how they are harnessing the potential of probiotics – beneficial bacteria – to help populate their guts and give them an extra healthy start in life.