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"Your gut bacteria predates appearance of humans", Guardian article

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by sarah darwins, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Interesting Guardian article (picked up from a paper in Science, to which I don't have access).

    *****
    Guardian link: https://www.theguardian.com/science...ates-appearance-of-humans-genetic-study-finds

    Science link: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/353/6297/380
    *****

    The perspective is evolutionary but there are obvious implications for health.

    Whenever I read this kind of thing, I wonder why we aren't routinely doing metagenomic gut profiles on neonates. The current testing might be imperfect, and the future uses uncertain, but there seems little doubt that precise manipulation of the microbiome will be a big part of future medicine. Wouldn't it be sensible to start getting baseline profiles for newborns right now? Is anyone already doing this?
     
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  2. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Another thought occurs. That article suggests that the gut microbiome is hardly dependent on environment, yet I thought there was much research showing the opposite. I wonder if this is a misreading of the original paper. Only the other day someone here on PR mentioned dramatic differences in gut flora between people living in post-industrial societies and people living in largely undeveloped regions.

    I keep seeing apparently contradictory assertions about the microbiome.
     
  3. JPV

    JPV ɹǝqɯǝɯ ɹoıuǝs

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    That's because nobody knows what they're talking about yet.
     
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  4. Daisymay

    Daisymay Senior Member

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    Thanks for posting, very interesting.

    Is this not one of these findings which is surprising initially but then it makes sense that gut bacteria would have to evolve in tandem with speciation, otherwise the new species wouldn't evolve and thrive?

    Wouldn't animals evolving to fill some new niche, where they feed on some slightly different food sources, need an altered microbiome to cope with that slightly different food source?

    And the environment would and still does impact the microbiome for good or bad, so it's an ongoing interaction over the millenia between this ancestral microbiome and the changing environment.

    And now, with changes in food production, diet, pollution, antibiotics,etc etc the microbiome is having to cope with multiple rapid environmental changes, at a rate never before experiences.
     
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  5. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Someone in the Guardian comments raised the slightly alarming possibility that it was the bacteria's speciation that was driving the mammalian one ... a bit like Douglas Adams' famous mice (perhaps they're the ones experimenting on us!)
     
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  6. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.

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    hmmmm, interesting....perhaps similar to the notion that the first domesticated animal was the human.

    Wheat did the domesticating.
     
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  7. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    ...but Guardian science writers probably appeared a few millennia before that.
     
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