The last two centuries have seen the greatest mass extinction in the 2-billion-year history of life on earth. While regularly underestimated, the bacterial communities that inhabit the earth are not immune. Indeed, more than any other kingdom of living species, modern technology has focused on the destruction of bacteria in a largely successful attempt to reduce the impact of pathogenic infection.

Unfortunately, as a result of biological similarity, at least 50% of the bacterial species that exist within the human gut are facing a similar fate. Hygiene and infection control measures designed to limit the spread of pathogens are equally effective against other commensal species. Furthermore, food processing techniques designed specifically to remove bacteria that cause food spoilage also limit the spread of commensal species.


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