Tracking the Ecosystem Within Us
Posted on June 25, 2007 Comments (5)
Before birth, the human intestinal tract is sterile, but babies immediately begin to acquire the microbial denizens of the gut from their environment — the birth canal, mothers’ breast, and even the touch of a sibling or parent. Within days, a thriving microbial community is established and by adulthood, the human body typically has as many as ten times more microbial cells than human cells.
The results, said Palmer, were striking: the group found that the intestinal microbial communities varied widely from baby to baby – both in terms of which microbes were present and in how that composition changed over time. That finding, she said, is important because it helps broaden the definition of healthy microbial colonization in a baby.
Another intriguing observation, Palmer noted, was a tendency for sudden shifts in the composition of the infants’ intestinal microbial communities over time as different species of bacteria ebbed and flowed.
I find this area and this study fascinating. I’m not exactly sure why this study and the incredibly significant positive bacteria for human life news doesn’t get more notice. Oh well I guess there are not cool pictures of robots or scary stories of potential threats to those reading which makes the news less interesting to some. Still I find this stuff amazing: Energy Efficiency of Digestion – Beneficial Bacteria – Skin Bacteria – Hacking Your Body’s Bacteria for Better Health – Where Bacteria Get Their Genes