Your Belly: A Microbiome Nirvana of Gut Bugs

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A young man applies a nauseating amount of cologne before his blind date, he arrives to the restaurant and then he sees her and thinks…

“She’s a SUPER HOT – Microbe!”

The young would be paramour isn’t under the influence of narcotics rather he’s accurate in his description because according to this article Microbiome: How Bugs may be crucial to your health by Karen Weintraub microscopic bugs live all over our body, these bugs are vastly prodigious in number that they outnumber human cells by a factor of 10; thus you are principally more microbe than human. No need for a hullaballoo because these bugs are essential to your life and your cells, they’ve been around since time immemorial and our bodies have adapted to them and they to us.

As you read this, the over 1000 species of microbes that live in your gut is helping you control digestion of that pizza from last nights study group. These ravenous bugs as if they didn’t have enough work, influence the immune system, and recent scholarship suggests that gut microbes could have an influence on cancer.

The ever-evolving knowledge of the human body/health according to Bruce Birren, co-director of the Genome Sequencing and Analysis Program at the Broad Institute, “can’t really [be] understood without understanding how we interact with all these microbes”.

Other Key Points From The Article:

  1. Two major projects to understand the bugs that colonize us culminated (Human Microbiome Project; Metagenomics of the Human Intestinal Tract)
  2. One person’s genome differs only 0.1% from another’s; while their gut genomes may differ by 50%
  3. Good bacteria keeps the bad in check, for the most part
  4. Fecal transplants are finally here! Yes, you read that right, Fecal transplants: taking feces from a healthy person and inserting it anally into the colon of another – worst spring break prank ever.

 

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