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.
So, 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: 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
a microbial gene, because our genes are actually
outnumbered by 10 to one 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.
These microbes have an important impact on our bodies,
on our health, and 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,
it would probably fall into either the Firmicutes or Bacteroides.
So, I like this quote by Rob Knight-