PROMPT: Imagine yourself as the head of a funding agency (like the National Institute of Health) in which your job is to look at proposals for research projects and decide what projects to award funding to. Based on your readings this term, discuss a research project (or projects) that you would be most excited about funding as they relate to learning more about microbial influences on human health. As part of your response, consider what are we likely to learn from the project and how that might be important in future healthcare decisions.
If I was the head honcho of a funding agency like that of the National Institute of Health, I would most likely award funding to a project that aims to determine the specified importance of microbial exposure in America in modern day. The reason I would fund a project of this nature, is because I believe it is so extremely important to understand how microbial diversity in the gut microbiome is on human health. However, we already think that the see the importance of the microbiome on human health, so this leaves other areas to be explored. Microbial diversity and exposure to microbes, are what I believe to be the major player here in human health. I would fund a project that places focus on hygiene practice in America and the correlation with microbial diversity in the gut microbiome. I believe that Americans may be too clean and inside too often. We have almost eliminated microbial exposure from dirt, grass, soil, etc. because we aren’t outside near as much as our ancestors were. Also, the cleaning products used regularly in American households are so strong that they work to eliminate all microbes in the home. There are already statistically significant studies that have concluded that those who live on farms are less susceptible to allergic disease because they have more microbial exposure on a daily basis than the ordinary person. So, I think that Americans may be entirely too clean, and that there are changes that are needed to be made in the near future if we want to continue to lead healthy lives as a global population, deep into the future.