Friday, November 11, 2005

I Am We Part II

More love for the better 90% of me.

Jeremy K. Nicholson, a pioneer of metabonomics research at Imperial College London, has no doubt that bacteria substantially affect the way the body responds to drugs. "what determines metabolism is largely environmental: how stressed you are, what gut microbes you've got-that turns out to be incredibly important," he argues. For example, many species produce compounds that switch on detoxification enzymes in the liver, and certain microbial metabolites are necessary players in human metabolic pathways.
Yet another sign that this whole idea that once everyone has their genome sequenced we will be able to do personalized medicine is off base. Gotta know what is going on in the gut to understand how drugs will affect you.
"Remarkably, the first paper that enumerated human gut microbiota was published just a few months ago." says Jeffrey I. Gordon, director of the Center for Genome Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. Through genomic sequencing, the paper, by Paul B. Eckburg and his colleagues at Stanford University, estimates at least 400 species in our gut. Each species exists in different strains, multiplying the variation. In humans, microorganisms in the distal intestines may liberate at least 20% of calories by breaking down sugars into more digestible forms.
They didn't even know how many species of microbiota live in our gut until a couple of months ago? Too many scientists out whining about Intelligent design and how no one listens to them about global warming and not enough doing important research. Why did/does the scientific community not find this extremely important to improving human health? Plus, the future of energy is organic. We need the genomes of these little critters to make our ethanol, methanol, methane and hydrogen.

I want to be able to take a test and know how healthy my bacterias are. I wonder how far away we are from that day.

Also interesting that 20%+ of our calories are liberated by microorganisms. Wonder what it is they are digesting? Some type of starch or cellulose or fiber I would assume.

Via SciAm (those bastards want to charge you to read the whole article, sorry)

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