What lemur guts can tell us about human bowel disease

Why is lemur research important? A newly published study by Dr. Erin McKenney, one of our Director’s (Anne Yoder’s) recent graduates, highlights just TWO reasons:

“McKenney and her fellow researchers recently discovered that the gut microbiomes of two of the lemur species share surprising similarities with those of humans who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohn’s disease and inflammatory colitis. The reason, they suspect, is diet—which could offer physicians a new perspective on how to treat these diseases.

“In addition, getting a handle on the flora living in lemur guts could help conservationists better understand—and save—these endangered primates.”

Read more in Smithsonian Magazine’s “What Lemur Guts Can Tell Us about Human Bowel Disease: Similarities between us and the cuddly primates could help us understand the origins of human illnesses — and treat them” (December 12, 2017).