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Lab-on-a-Chip Tracks Down 'Most Wanted' Microbe

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A diagnostic tool that’s about the size of a credit card has identified a highly prized gut microbe.

The microbe contains interesting genetic sequences, but it has proven challenging to culture in the lab.

Researchers used the device, called SlipChip, to isolate microbes from a patient’s gut bacteria and then genetically targeted this specific bacterial species using tiny channels etched on the device.

They then grew a pure culture of this single organism in the lab.

An early guess is that this particular microbe may be linked to obesity and fatty liver disease, and could ultimately aid in finding a potential probiotic therapy.

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