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Writing Exercise #3

Behaviors that have the ability to cause changes to the gut microbial community:

Age:

The gut microbiota within those who are young compared to those who are older is much different according to the article “Role of the gut microbiota in health and chronic gastrointestinal disease: understanding a hidden metabolic organ.” However, the microbiome within children is established around the age of two and is comparable to those of adults.

Diet:

From the primary research article, “An altered Gut Microbiome Profile in a child Affected by Crohn’s Disease Normalized After Nutritional Therapy,” the finding showed that a diet with increased amounts of protein, anti-inflammatory fats, and antioxidants is linked to a decrease in symptoms of Crohn’s Disease. Food that is put into our body either has the ability to be negative or beneficial to our gut’s microbial community.

Probiotics:

Probiotics are known to promote the healthy bacteria within our gut’s community. Although ingesting beneficial bacteria may not give your body enough bacteria to have your gut in equilibrium, it does have the ability to promote the growth and establishment of helpful bacteria. Positive outcomes of this may reduce gut inflammation or issues that may arise intestinally.

Antibiotics:

To put it simply, antibiotics do not target one specific bacteria or virus. They are used to eliminate any sort of microbe that may be present in within the body or in this case, the gut microbial community. Overall, they aim to lover a wide range of microbes and do not target one specific microbe.

Smoking:

Smoking is known to cause an unbalanced microbiome by increasing the levels of unhealthy bacteria in the gut and decreasing any bacteria that is good for the gut’s microbiome.

Environment:

Living in different environments can subject you to more or less microbiota in terms of both quantity and variety. It may surprise some individuals, but living in a less microbe-rich environment may be negative to their gut health. For example, from the article “Linking the Gut Microbial Ecosystem with the Environment: Does Gut Health Depend on Where We Live?” it mentions that due to the “western lifestyle” that includes sanitization, antibiotics, formula feeding, and more, there is a decline microbiota within the gut. With that being said, there has been an increase in diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and inflammatory bowel disease.

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Writing Exercise #2

After ready the article Viruses and Human Cancer: From Detection to Causality by Sarid and Gao, my recommendation as a healthcare professional in terms of which HIV strains should be accounted for in a new treatment, I would suggest including HPV strains 31 and 45. Ideally, all strains could be treated, but the cost of such treatment would increase greatly. With that being said, when moving forward with a new treatment, it is important to weigh the cost and benefits. Therefore the benefits should be greater than the cost of the new treatment.

Viruses have the ability to possess oncogenes(cancer genes), and these genes get integrated into normal human genes after a person gets infected with the virus. The Human Papillomavirus(HPV), is defined as a virus that carries oncogenes. Different strains of HPV can be more harmful than some. For example, HPV strains 33, 35, 39, 51, 52, 56, 58, and 59 are likely to be cancerous; however, HPV strains 16, 18, 31, and 45 are known to be highly cancerous, and cause around 80% of cervical cancers in women. With that being said, constructing a treatment for the types of strains that cause more cancer in individuals is more effective than treating the strains that are less likely to be the cause.

Looking at the status of treatments today, the HPV strains 16 and 18 already have a vaccine. The course of action should be to focus on creating a treatment for HPV strains 31 and 45, therefore all highly cancerous strains have a vaccine. Also if a treatment is created for just those two strains it will keep the cost of the vaccine down. Hopefully after the vaccine is available to all women, that the amount of individuals with cervical cancer will become less and less.

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Writing Exercise #1

Microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses are very relevant to an individual’s health due to the fact that people are continually being exposed to organisms such as these. However, many microorganisms work with humans to lend a hand in everyday function such as the breakdown of food we ingest. With that being said, microorganisms can also negatively affect human health. 

Everyday there is someone fighting a non-infectious disease caused by a microorganism. To explain, a non-infectious disease is a disease that is not contagious, and that is not directly caused by a pathogen. Diseases that are considered non-infectious are some cancers, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart disease. For example, oral bacteria has the ability to secrete a toxin that builds up and breaks down proteins, thus decreasing the amount of nerve cells available for communication and therefore causing Alzheimer’s. In addition, autoimmune diseases that cause an individual’s immune system to attack itself, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus can also be caused by microorganisms. 

It is interesting how microorganisms can be both helpful and detrimental to people. Diving deeper into the connection between microorganisms and noninfectious diseases will give me more knowledge for my future profession of being a physicians assistant. This is a topic more individuals should probably take note of to have a better idea of how some diseases can be caused.