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Melamine Poisoning In China: Why Did Most Survive The Food Safety Scandal?

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Scientists wondering why some children and not others survived one of China's worst food safety scandals have uncovered a suspect: germs that live in the gut.

In 2008, at least six babies died and 300,000 became sick after being fed infant formula that had been deliberately and illegally tainted with the industrial chemical melamine. There were some lingering puzzles: How did it cause kidney failure, and why wasn't everyone equally at risk?

A team of researchers from the U.S. and China re-examined those questions in a series of studies in rats. In findings released Wednesday, they reported that certain intestinal bacteria play a crucial role in how the body handles melamine.

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