Jenna Luecke / University of Texas at Austin

As humans have evolved, so has the bacteria that lives inside us.

That’s according to a recent study out of UT Austin, which indicates that the bacteria living in humans’ guts has co-evolved along with our species – so what you’ve heard referred to as “good bacteria” could easily be referred to instead as just “human bacteria.”

Jason Shear/UT

Editor's note: This story was originally published Nov. 19, prior to being rebroadcast on WBUR's Here and Now.

When you think of bacteria, you might think about a bunch of mindless, single-celled bugs blindly roaming the world in complete ignorance. But over the past few decades, scientists have found bacteria are much more complicated than that.

Now, a group of scientists at the University of Texas at Austin has come up with a new way of studying how bacteria interact with the world – and each other.

You see, scientists have a couple of problems when it comes to studying bacteria.