Friday’s “Please Explain” segment on WNYC’s “Leonard Lopate Show” was a great episode on the Human Micro-Biome Project
and why people die in the Matrix but not Inception.
Guests Dr. Lita Proctor and (the awesomely-named) Dr. Martin Blazer chimed in on how the HMP’s 5-year-mission is to
explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before sequence a basic microbial dna landscape using a reference set of 300 individuals.
-Which they will then use to suss-out and potentially Fix varying microbe-related issues for the rest of us going forward.
I was pretty shocked when they started throwing out numbers, as Dr. Proctor noted that there are 100 Trillion bugs living on each of us, with 300x the amount of our DNA, that need to be catalogued. Luckily, almost all of these are good bugs depending on the balance.
I knew at least that there was: A Fungus Colony On Our Skin, A Sexxy-Laydee-Detectable Pheromone-Mating-Smell In Our Pits, and Almost Our Entire Immune System In Our Tummies, but never suspected the numbers were ~Quite that high.
Lita and Martin also answered a few good call-in and write-in questions on things like: Travel, The Hygiene Hypothesis, Antibiotics, Urbanization, Healthy Babies, Hospital Microbes and Compositional Changes Over Time; as your body gets sick, then fights things off, etc.
Hopefully, after the HMP is finished, we can all learn about and benefit from whole new microbe-balances to improve our health, or even fix any imbalances; -I’m burping at you, Candida!
Check out the Embedded podcast here below or over on Leonard’s episode page. Great Show!
Note: Depending on the options yours gives you, you may not see the player or controls if you’re using a plugin-blocker like FlashBlock. -You’d have to whitelist wnyc.org.
Photo Credits: “up and down the stairs”, by philipp k.
• Source: Lopate-HMBP w/Comments & Questions
• More Coverage:
The Human MicroBiome Project’s homepage