Lab mice are notoriously clean: To prevent introducing anything that could disrupt results, researchers house them in sterile conditions, and the food and water they ingest are monitored for extreme quality.

This also means that the mice’s microbiomes — the cohort of microorganisms that reside within all animals and influence many body processes — have been controlled for. While that environment can be conducive to studying a host of conditions, the findings may not really be relevant for people who don’t live under such regimented conditions.

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