The gut microbiome plays a vital role in metabolism, physiology, nutrition and immune response. In this breakthrough study, scientists at EMBL screened the effects of 1,200 marketed drugs on the growth of 38 representative bacterial strains found in the human gut.

This e-learning video showcases the story, methodology and findings from this study, published in Nature on the 19th March 2018.

Target audience

This video is aimed at people interested in the cutting edge research that is taking place at EMBL and scientists who want to learn more about performing high-throughput screens. An undergraduate level of understanding in biology would be an advantage.

Learning objectives

• Describe what the microbiome is and why it is important
• Outline the challenges of performing a high-throughput screen under anaerobic conditions
• Evaluate the risks and opportunities highlighted in this study

Test your knowledge

Watched the video? Then have a go at our short quiz and interactive exercises.


Extensive impact of non-antibiotic drugs on human gut bacteria. Maier L., et al. (2018). Nature. doi:10.1038/nature25979


What did you think? We hope you enjoyed this e-learning video and we’d welcome your feedback and suggestions for future courses.

Project team

Executive producer, project manager and animation: Richard Grandison

Main study authors: Lisa Maier, Michael Kühn, Mihaela Pruteanu

Graphic design: Daniel Krüger

Scientific oversight: Georg Zeller, Kiran Patil, Nassos Typas, Peer Bork

Video producer and motion graphics: Claudiu Grozea

Press officer: Iris Kruijen