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Old 10-09-2016, 09:07 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, 11:15 AM   #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, 06:43 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, 04:44 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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Old 12-13-2016, 06:34 PM   #25
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Ladies and germs,

There's a bit of microbiome news I thought I'd share, for those of you who are not predisposed against swabbing all parts of yourself.

Discover all the bacteria living in your mouth, nose, skin, genital AND gut microbiomes this winter.

All 5-Site Explorer Kits are just $89 instead of the usual $399.

Use discount code JOLLYMICROBE5FOR1 at checkout at
I don't get anything from presenting this information, but figure that if someone were interested in what's in them and on them, but balked at paying $400 to find out, maybe the availability of the lower price would be legit "news".
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Old 01-04-2017, 03:57 PM   #26
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If you're interested in various explorations of microbes in our environment, here's an article about some research going on:

What’s Lurking in Your Showerhead - The New Yorker

If you read long enough, you'll get to the part about why this academic thinks women make better sourdough bread than men. Yum!
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:12 AM   #27
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This is a cool article on the subject from Pop Sci in August 2015

The Microbes In Your Home Could Save Your Life | Popular Science

Take Care,

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Old 01-10-2017, 07:42 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by growing_older View Post
There's some research that indicates eating whole grains - not just products like bread made from whole grain flour - but eating the actual whole grains helps maintain healthy gut flora. Possibly because flour is digested higher in the digestive tract but with whole grains some of the nutrition lasts long enough to reach the gut microbes.
I think the problem with whole grain flour is that is is pulverized to the point where the fiber in it is to small to do its work. So, eating fibery things that are whole or cut up into chunks is better, though that doesn't do much for making good bread.

According to Dr. Lustig, the fiber lines the guts and helps things move downstream where the 'good' microbes feed on it. They need to eat too. Whole fiber also protects people from 'leaky gut syndrome'. Of course, this is all new and could change with time.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:46 PM   #29
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I've always suspected our current medical practices will be considered primitive in the not-too-distant future. Shoveling down pills and cutting open patients to remove things will seem as barbaric to future doctors as blood-letting is to us.

Then look at dentistry; outside serious diseases, most dental work is no more advanced than auto-body repair. Likewise with eye care; we don't usually fix the problem, just put a lens in front of it.

It's starting to change. Research is showing that there's more to cancer than just which organ it was first found in. It's not just "lung cancer", it's a specific mutation that happened in the lung. Data is piling up that treatments have to be customized to the individual patient.

And the whole idea of looking at the microbiome is only just beginning.

Hope it all happens fast enough to do ME some good.

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