Intestinal networks in health and disease
Nature 474, 7351 (2011). doi:10.1038/474297a
Author: Ulla Weiss
Our bowels have two major roles: the digestion and absorption of nutrients, and the maintenance of a barrier against the external environment. They fulfil these functions in the context of, and with help from, tens of trillions of resident microbes, known as the gut microbiota.