If I were the head of budget or funding for a large corportaion in charge of fund distribution I would focus on a few important areas of research that I think would be most beneficial. My first area of research would be microbial influence on young children, and the best way to expose them to healthy microbes. Since children get most of the microbes before they are 3 years old it is extremely important for parents to know how to best set up their child. Not exposing your child can affect their whole life so I would like to figure out how to best set up children and give them healthy and diverse microbes. The second project I would like to focus on would be how microbes affect diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. I think brain degenerative diseases are some of the worst diseases you can get and there is no cure. I would hope that in researching this, we could come up with certain diet, behaviors, or something else to decrease the risk of the disease.
Diabetes, depression, insomnia, obesity, gastritis, Alzheimer’s, cancer, acne, pulmonary disease.
I had a lot of similar ones like cancer, and acne. I was unaware how much microbes can affect ones health before I took this class. The most important topic I will take away is the importance of having a healthy and diverse community of microbes in your stomach, intestines, skin, and other places. I will then use the information I have learned about diet, exposure, sleep, water intake and more to improve my health and the health of my loved ones.
- Can experiments detect differences that matter?
- Does the study show causation or correlation?
- What is the mechanism?
- How much do experiments reflect reality?
- Could anything else explain the results?
Can experiments detect differences that matter? Apparent similarities might cloak small differences. It is important to know whether your experiment is able to detect these differences. The good news is that technology is getting better and this discrepancy is being eliminated slowly.
Does the study show causation or correlation? This is a very important determination because it could skew the results of the study. It is important to show a 100% causation if you are making a statement. It is easy to make a correlation but harder to make determine a causation.
What is the mechanism? A mechanism is a plausible account of the process that causes a relationship between the 2 things. One must know this in an experiment when designing and looking over the results. Without it, you cannot accurately make a correlation.
How much do experiments reflect reality? This is also an important thing to determine to tell if you want to do the study and now important the results of the study are. This can also be determined by the reader.
Could anything else explain the results? This is the most important thing to consider in studies. It is also one of the hardest things to determine especially in advanced fields like biology. With so many moving parts, it is hard to determine for sure if another factor is causing something.
The gut has been described as the second brain. For example, neurotransmitters are produced by microbes. cytokine release by the gut. Some microbes produce steroids which can travel and affect the brain. Other small molecules made by microbes can have an effect on the brain. On the other hand the brain can have an effect on microbial health. We know depression can have a negative effect on your gut community. Other things like stress and anxiety can also have a negative effect. These can lead to IBD and ASD. Antibiotic treatment can have help autism symptoms.
It felt good to peer review some essays. It gave me some good ideas on length, content, and resources that i can use on my essay. I think the thing that helped me most was just the overall feel and the audience of the essays i read. I was not sure if my essay was geared towards the right audience but reading these 2 helped me get a better feel.
The process of peer review starts with an author submitting and article or a journal. A journal editor then screens and decides whether to reject or accept it. If it is accepted it then gets reviewed by a reviewer. A reviewer is someone based on merit that usually has field or lab work related to the topic. Generally 3-4 reviewers per manuscript. There the editor can asses the reviews and the author can make the decisions to reject or accept the revisions.
The cons of this is that people sometimes take a long time to give back information and there can be a long back and forth before the article is published. This is also a pro though because if there is a lot of back and forth then there is a greater probability that the article is accurate. One con that could impact the credibility of the article is the fact that a lot of scientific articles are about new research or discovery. It would be hard to find someone with the credentials to review if the work is new or not a lot of people have studied it.
There are a lot of things people do that contribute to decreased exposure to microbes. One of the biggest things we do is sanitize and clean. 100 years ago people lived dirtier, which is a bad thing but it did help their exposure to microbes. Children played outside and there were more manual labor jobs that exposed people to germs, dust and dirt. This diversified the microbial community.
Another way is to have a c-section. This may seem small but children born via c-section are exposed to way less microbes and usually fall behind in their diversity and health.
People also eat a lot of packaged and processed foods. If your diet doesn’t include probiotics, fermentation foods, yogurts, or is high in red meat and fats then you will not be getting the microbes that you need.
Finally, children that are not breast fed usually have a less diverse and less healthy microbial community. There is not much study that I have observed on this topic but there is a strong correlation between healthy microbes and breast fed children.
I would like to learn more about the possible influence of microbes on brain degenerative diseases such a Alzheimer’s. I don’t know of any concrete evidence that it even effects the brain in that way but as I have learned in this class, microbes can have a surprising affect on lots of systems in the body. I would also want to learn more about how to get a diverse and healthy microbial community, and how to maintain that community. I think that is a very important take away because I could use the information in this class to get healthy.
I am mostly interested in how diet and fluid intake can effect the mirobial community in my body. I love trying new and deliecious foods and if i could research and possibly make certain new foods, I think i could be happier and healthier. I know of some foods have a positive impact on gut health, but there has to be hundreds of other foods, recipes or ideas that could be delicious and help out my gut. Learning about this could convince myself to get more out of my comfort zone.
I’ll have to think about it more and maybe research some more possible ideas but I think it would be a very strong and interesting topic for me to pursue. I know there is possibly new research coming up about this topic every day and I think that is a very interesting and useful thing to look at and learn.
Many factors such as genetics or behavior that can affect the microbial community of the baby. Taking prenatal vitamins could help to improve the guy health of the baby. An infant’s microbiome changes most significantly within the first 2 years and looks like an adult in 3 years. Infants that are born vaginally will have gut community similar to the vagina and children born via C-section will have microbial diversity similar to that of the mother’s skin.
Diet of breast milk and foods will obviously greatly impact the microbial diversity of the child. Children also put a lot of things in their mouth which can get them sick, but also help increase their microbes. Vaccinations and antibiotics will affect how, and which microbes survive.
A multitude of other factors such as air quality, physical location, water quality and physical activity will also play a role for better or for worse. Since these microbes are generally developed within 2-3 years, it is important to understand the affects it has on children and how to use that to improve your child’s health.
I have taken antibiotics only a couple of times in my life. One time I got strep throat in 6th grade. I took a daily dose of penicillin for a week. 24 hours after the first dose my symptoms started to recline and 48 hours after that I was no longer contagious. The other times I took antibiotics was for ear infections when I was younger. From what I could remember the symptoms only lasted around 48 hours after the dosage. From these multiple experiences, I really depended on antibiotics. They cured me faster than I have seen any other type of drug cure. Penicillin alone saved millions of lives when it was first introduced, and it helped me a lot. I think antibiotics are a very necessary drug with a wide range of use.
Antibiotics however do not come without side effects. When I was on antibiotics my stomach was very upset. My doctor strongly recommended I have a yogurt every morning to improve my digestive health. Since I took the right dosage I knew I was safe, but taking too many antibiotics can have a harmful impact on your community of microbes. So my personal philosophy is that antibiotics are great in small doses.