Tag Archives: Microbiome

More Dirt for Kids!

32822Rob Knight, the academic superstar who is leading the Center for Microbiome Innovation at UC San Diego, says it’s important for kids to get dirty! He explains that exposing children to natural bacteria in the environment trains their immune systems how to respond to foreign threats. So, resist that urge to sterilize everything kids touch because you’re not helping. Instead, let them roll around in the grass, swim in rivers and the ocean, and cuddle with dogs. You might wince at the contact, but the germs they meet will make them stronger in the long run.

To learn more, check out Rob’s book, “Dirt is Good,” or watch him here:

Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs For Your Child’s Developing Immune System with Rob Knight

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Decoding the Microbiome

8232There are on average about 110 trillion cells in the human body… and 100 trillion of those aren’t human. That’s the human microbiome, a mix of interdependent organisms living in a variety of ecosystems as diverse as guest Rob Knight puts it, “between a prairie in Kansas and a coral reef in Florida.” And that’s just the difference between the microbial life on your hand compared to the microbes in your mouth…

As amazing as this reality is, what’s more amazing is that our human existence is wholly dependent on the activities and products of this microbiome – we couldn’t survive without our body’s microbial partners.

This realization has led people like Rob Knight, professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science, and Larry Smarr, renowned authority in high-performance computing, to wield the tools of Big Data and bioinformatics to search for a deep understanding of what lives within and on us and how it works to sustain us, and to find ways to maintain and improve that symbiotic relation for better health and treatments for maladies from autism to Krohn’s disease.

Watch Decoding the Microbiome and browse more programs from Computing Primetime.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus

You’ve been invaded – by your Microbiome!

8232“If you like science fiction, I’m going to open with this,” begins David Granet. “You have been invaded. And the invaders are 10 times more than the number of cells in your body. They affect your health, they affect much about what your life does, and about who you are, and what you look like. What are these? It’s your microbiome.”

Microbiome researcher, Rob Knight, Phd joins host David Granet, MD for a fascinating discussion about our massive microbiome.

These tiny organisms have been with us since birth and we continue to acquire them and lose them based on our environment, our diet, and our age. Indeed, various parts of our bodies have different microbiobes which can include bacteria, fungi, and other single-celled organisms.

But don’t panic just yet! According to Knight, we don’t want to wage war on our microbiobes. Instead, he says, “You want to think of them more as a landscape you want to nurture rather than as a battlefield where you want to eliminate everything that is not you.”

So, how might our microbiome affect our health?

Here’s the story of two mice: one skinny and one fat. Each mouse has exactly the same genetics, eats the same foods, and exercises the same amount. Researchers insert the microbiome of one mouse into the other. The skinny mouse becomes fat. The fat mouse becomes skinny.

And it’s not just mice. Our human microbiome has also been shown to impact our health. Rob Knight works with the America Gut project which has collected the microbiome of thousands of people and continues to learn more about how it relates to our health and even our behavior.

“If we can start putting together that map of people who have different medical conditions and the kinds of micriobes that lead them to different places on that microbial map,” says Knight, “then we can tell you a lot more about what’s likely to happen to you, what’s happened already, and potentially what you should do about it.”

“It’s really incredible how they run us,” says Dr. Granet.

Learn more about our incredible microbiome and how it helps to define who we are.

Watch Our Micriobiome – Health Matters.

facebooktwittergoogle_plus