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  E. Using Synthetic DNA to Treat Colitis?

Narrator: This is Science Today. When it comes to bacterial compounds in the body, certain organs respond differently than others. Eyal Raz, a professor of medicine at the University of California , San Diego , explains that the spleen for instance is geared to react to bacteria in a ‘me' versus ‘you' fashion.

Raz: Whereas in the colon, we respond to the bacteria more in effect that it's me and you, so there is room for you, there is room for us. And this type of partnership is called in biology ‘symbiosis'. Or, especially in the gut, we call this bacteria commensal.

Narrator: These bacteria are meant to live with us and not cause problems because if they did, the consequence of responding to any bacteria in the gut would be chronic inflammation of the colon. That's what happens to those who suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Raz: So we identified a mechanism by which bacterial product inhibit the host response towards inflammation – that you can take bacterial DNA or synthetic DNA that we make and treat colitis with that. We are preparing to do clinical trial in the near future.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.