Writing Exercise #4

  • Antibiotics could cause a change in the gut microbial community by killing certain microbes. This would cause a change in the composition of the community. In some situations, this could be beneficial (as in the case of an infection), but often, beneficial microbes are killed in the process, leading to a detrimental effect on human health.
  • Changing one’s diet could also greatly alter a person’s microbiome composition. For example, someone who has been a strict vegan for a long period of time may have an altered microbiome that is not accustomed to eating animal products. Digesting meat could be very difficult for them until the gut microbial composition is able to adjust to the change in diet. Changing diet could either have a beneficial or detrimental effect, depending both on the type of change in diet and the particular person’s microbiota.
  • Taking a probiotic could change the gut microbial community by introducing different microbes to the host’s digestive system, which often has a beneficial effect, especially after a round of antibiotics.
  • Taking a prebiotic would help feed beneficial bacteria that already inhabit a person’s gut, which would have either a beneficial or neutral effect on one’s gut microbial community. Prebiotics may help increase the number of “good bacteria” within a person’s gut by offering them additional nutrients.

Writing Exercise #3

In my opinion, HPV strains 16, 18, 31, and 35 should be included in the treatment plan. Together, these four strains account for nearly 80% of cervical cancers. Although treating these four strains would obviously be fairly expensive, it would be much less expensive than treating a patient who had developed cervical cancer, aside from being much better for the health of the patients.

Writing Exercise #2

1) In “Symbiotic gut microbes modulate human metabolic phenotypes” (2007), Li et al showed that the human gut microbiome has a strong influence on metabolic phenotypic variation within populations. 2) Li et al demonstrates that variation among individuals’ gut microbiomes can help explain differential metabolism and therefore health. 3) The purpose of this paper was to lay a foundation for functional metagenomics, in order to advance knowledge of the wide array of functions that the gut microbiome has within the human body. 4) This study has the potential to lead to increased knowledge about the effects the microbiome has on health, metabolism, and obesity.

Writing Exercise #1

Many human non-infectious diseases can be caused or influenced by microorganisms, including:

  • Chronic liver disease,
  • Cervical cancer,
  • Chronic gastritis and peptic ulcers,
  • Lymphoma,
  • Asthma,
  • and Diabetes.