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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

G Cover

Researchers rethink role of bacteria in our health

Seven decades after penicillin revolutionized the treatment of infections by killing bacteria, medicine is poised for another revolution.

The central idea: Many bacteria, rather than creating disease, actually protect against it. So, rather than indiscriminately killing all bacteria, a growing number of researchers say we should be taking an ecological approach — by supporting good bacteria, either in addition to, or instead of destroying the bad.

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