We don’t need them – some lab animals are raised perfectly healthily in a microbe free environment.

But – and its a massive but – if we are to live with bacteria, we really need to live with the right ones.

I don’t think it’s wild to speculate that the next two decades will see a slew of discoveries and treatments based around an understanding of our interaction with our resident microbiota. Most of which can’t (yet) be successfully cultured in a lab for proper study…