Gregarious chimps harbor richer gut microbiomes

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Spending time in close contact with others means risking catching germs and getting sick. But being sociable may also help transmit ‘good’ microbes, finds a new study. Researchers monitored changes in the gut microbiomes and social behavior of chimpanzees over eight years in Tanzania. The number of bacterial species in a chimp’s GI tract increased when the chimps were more gregarious. The results help scientists understand the factors that maintain a healthy gut microbiome.

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Gregarious chimps harbor richer gut microbiomes