We desperately need to get thousands of more samples to start to really determine what the “typical” American gut really contains. Measuring all the bacteria, etc. that we are primarily made of is called metabolomics. My point was that none of this is really going to be able to tell us much without really getting a good idea of demography. What’s that? See below. Questions? Post them here if you like.
Sign up for my buddy Dr. Elisabeth Bic’s incredible digest (http://www.microbiomedigest.com/) on interesting animal, human, yeast, fungus, bacteria, etc. microbiology papers from scientific journals and the general media. So the next time someone comes at you with a statement such as caesarian births cause a lifetime of tooth decay you can say, “Well, which research specifically do you believe shows causality as opposed to association?
Or, you’ll know specifically what collection of yeasts and bacteria (lots of them actually) make up a food like yogurt or milk kefir. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/12/17/350633709/behind-the-scenes-at-the-lab-that-fingerprints-microbiomes?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=science
Demography: This review paper, ” The demographic determinants of human microbiome health”
Sylvie Estrela, Marvin Whiteley, Sam P. Brown is truly exciting: “Highlights
•Metabolic interactions drive demographic feedbacks between species.
•Demographic feedbacks strengthen or attenuate underlying metabolic interactions.
•Demography is a key determinant of microbiome development and functioning.
•Treatment strategies must consider the dynamical properties of species interactions.
The human microbiome is a vast reservoir of microbial diversity and increasingly recognized to have a fundamental role in human health. In polymicrobial communities, the presence of one species can modulate the demography (i.e., growth and distribution) of other species. These demographic impacts generate feedbacks in multispecies interactions, which can be magnified in spatially structured populations (e.g., host-associated communities). Here, we argue that demographic feedbacks between species are central to microbiome development, shaping whether and how potential metabolic interactions come to be realized between expanding lineages of bacteria. Understanding how demographic feedbacks tune metabolic interactions and in turn shape microbiome structure and function is now a key challenge to our abilities to better manage microbiome health.”