Ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata) were one of three lemur species involved in a study of gut microbes that gleaned potential insights into similar human microbial systems. The researchers collected data on the nutritional composition of each species' diet in captivity. Next, they used genetic sequencing techniques to identify the bacterial makeup of the gut microbiome, based on fecal samples taken from representatives of each species. The researchers also used nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy on fecal samples to determine which chemical products were produced in the gut. By analyzing the bacteria present and the chemicals being produced, the researchers could determine how the gut microbes were making use of each lemur’s diet.
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