Germs can be dangerous or benign, but now scientists are discovering ways that they can help us HEAL (note: Subscribers can still listen to this show).

A huge breakthrough in medicine was made when scientists learned how to synthesize the natural plants and herbs that native peoples used to heal into medicines we can now get by prescription, or even over the counter. The same sort of thing is now happening with bacteria.

For instance, there are 100 trillion bacteria in the human intestines, which are essential to our health. If hostile bacteria may invade (which is what happens when we get "tourista" from traveling in foreign countries). Corrective bacteria can solve this problems, and they can be taken orally (in yogurt, for example) or through enemas. Even transplants of feces from healthy people have been used.

The Economist reports that, "if they do work, they may open avenues for the bacterial treatment of other conditions linked to gut bacteria. These conditions include obesity, diabetes and even, possibly, autism. A new era of bacterial medicine could thus be about to dawn."

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