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Old 10-09-2016, 10:07 AM   #21
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They used to think that babies were born sterile, but that's not true, either. It's truly amazing all the things they're learning about the microbiome (and the miracle of breast milk). It may be 20-30 years before this info trickles down to your family doctor.

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Old 10-09-2016, 12:15 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by msieweke View Post
It's not entirely random. You get some bugs from mom in the birth process (less with c-section). Breast milk contains compounds that can only be digested by certain bacteria, so they promote growth of particular strains. Human immune cells actually transport specific bacteria into the breast to go into human milk:

The current consensus is that there are 10x as many microbes in/around the body as there are human cells. There may be 100x as much bacterial DNA vs human DNA. Grace Liu has a lot to say about the microbiome:
Good stuff! You're way ahead on knowing about the topic. I want 23andMe to merge with uBiome and start to make sense of all this stuff that's been ignored for too long.

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Old 10-09-2016, 07:43 PM   #23
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Possible Application #1: detecting infidelity

Person A suspects that Person B is engaging in sexual relations with Person C, but needs proof. The approach:

(1) Person A seeds Person B with a harmless strain of bacteria D without Person's B knowledge or permission. These bacteria D would not be commonly found on humans and could be genetically engineered to be easily distinguishable from bacteria that are commonly found on humans.

(2) Person A waits a sufficient length of time for Person B to have sex with Person C, if such relations are in fact occurring.

(3) Person A has Person C tested for the presence of bacteria D. If the test if positive, Person A could confront Person B with these results.

Some ways that this might go wrong:

(1) Person B might object to being seeded with bacteria D without his/her knowledge or permission.

(2) Person C might refuse to be tested for the presence of bacteria D.

(2) Bacteria D might not be harmless after all, sickening and maybe even killing Person B and anyone else infected by bacteria D.

Possible Application #2: hooking up in a bar

Person A (the aggressor) gazes ardently into the eyes of Person B (the target) and notes, "Right now, we are separate colonies. However, if we sleep together tonight, by morning our colonies will have merged into a single supercolony. How cool is that?"

Some ways that this might go wrong:

(1) Person B might be unfamiliar with the latest research in personal microbiology, and simply say, "WTF?"

(2) Person B might find the prospect of merging overnight into a superorganism unappealing, for some reason.
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:44 PM   #24
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Always interesting perspectives here; this forum attracts the best people!

Might not need to go with an introduced strain... before you tie the knot, and as a routine procedure that everyone does, your micribiome is recorded and monitored. An unexplained shift might be proof enough. Of course it could have come from the toilet seat, lol!

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