FEB 23, 2018 6:41 PM PST

The Microbiome & Health

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

You may have heard of our microbiome by now; it is the community of microbes that lives on and inside of us. As genetics techniques have become more sophisticated, it's gotten easier for scientists to learn precisely what species of bacteria we carry around with us, and about how many of them there are. It turns out the cells in our bodies are about 43 percent human, and the rest are microbial.

Importantly, however, the ratio of genes we carry is much different. Because of the levels of cells we have, about 20,000 human genes impact our existence, while there are millions of bacterial cells doing so as well, suggesting we are ignoring a major facet of our physiology. The evidence is mounting that this microbial community, especially the one in our gastrointestinal tract, has a significant impact on our health. Learn more from this topic from the video, an excerpt from a talk by UC San Diego Professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering Rob Knight, and link to the full discussion at the end.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
DEC 05, 2019
Earth & The Environment
DEC 05, 2019
Scientists Get a Closer Look at "The Plastisphere"
Plastic litter is a global problem, and some of the tiniest culprits are not visible to the naked eye. These microplastics have infiltrated the world's...
JAN 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 14, 2020
How Much Do You Know About Jupiter?
Jupiter, recognized by most as the largest known planet in our solar system, is a particularly interesting place. So interesting, in fact, that NASA sent a...
JAN 20, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 20, 2020
SpaceX Demos Crew Dragon Launch Escape for NASA
SpaceX is one of two major players in NASA’s Commercial Crew program, an attempt to use third-party space companies to bring crewed space launches ba...
JAN 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 26, 2020
How Much Do You Know About the Planet Mercury?
Mercury is the solar system’s smallest planet, and it’s also the one residing closest to the Sun. But while Mercury is commonly shrugged off as...
FEB 03, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 03, 2020
How NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft is Studying Mars' Ionosphere
If you ever listen to the radio and experience a phenomenon in which the broadcast sounds garbled or as if another radio station is attempting to play over...
FEB 17, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 17, 2020
How a Spider Builds its Web
Just about everyone has seen a spider web at some point in their life, but have you ever wondered how a spider builds such a strong and perfect web? The pr...
Loading Comments...