Evolution, the microbiome, and human health

Published on November 4, 2018   49 min

Other Talks in the Category: Microbiology

0:00
I'm Joe Alcock. I am a Professor of Emergency Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of New Mexico. Today, I'll be talking about evolution, the microbiome, and human health.
0:15
When you're listening to me you may think that I'm a human and a mammal, and you'd be at least partially right. Recent work has shown that my body and your body, too, is inhabited by as many as 30 trillion microbes, so these are microscopic organisms living in and on your body, mostly in your gut, numbering this vast number of 30 trillion, which is equivalent to the number of human cells in your body. If an alien came down and sampled a gene at random from my body, there's a good chance that it would sample microbial gene because our genes are actually outnumbered by 10 to 1 by microbial genes. So, in some ways, we may be more microbial than human. But, the very least we are more complicated than we thought before, and these microbes have an important impact on our bodies and on our health. Some have suggested that we humans are better thought of as being a meta-organism or, a superorganism- a complex combination of both mammal and microbe. There's a variety of microbes in our guts, and if one took a microbe at random from our intestine would probably fall into either the Firmicutes or Bacteroides.
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Evolution, the microbiome, and human health

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