Writing Exercise #3: Brainstorm a list of behaviors that an individual could engage in that could cause changes to their gut microbial community. Pick 3 specific behaviors from your list. For each, discuss how that behavior could change the microbial community and the potential health impacts (beneficial, detrimental, neutral) that could result for the individual’s health.

  1. Diet: The diet of a person could impact the gut’s microbiome heavily of a human. This is why maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is important. By providing the body with a balanced diet, you are making sure that you get the right nutrients in your body that can reinforce the strength of the gut’s microbiome and promotes the growth of diverse, healthy microbiomes.
  2. Probiotics: Probiotics are live microorganisms which help promote healthy conditions in the body. These live microorganisms help to improve and restore the gut’s flora, promoting healthy microbiome growth and eliminating bad microbiota.
  3. Stress: Stress can overall affect many parts of the body, even the gut microbiome. It is said that stress can cause the gut lining to be more susceptible to infectious diseases, killing a lot of the healthy microbiota that make up the gut’s flora. With this happening, a lot of healthy microbiota cannot help in the delivery of nutrients and digestion of food. This could cause many problems such as constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion.
  4. List of behaviors: aging, stress, probiotics, antidepressants, diet, environmental factors.

Writing Exercise #2: a colleague asks your opinion as to which HPV strains should be covered in a new treatment. Based on your reading from the Sarid and Gao 2011 article, what is your recommendation, and when should the treatment be administered? What evidence supports your opinion?

Based on the reading from the Sarid Gao article from 2011, my recommendation would be HPV strains 16, 18, 31, and 45. The reason why is because these strains listed are connected to around 80% of cervical cancers. The HPV strains 9, 51, 52, 56, 58, and 59 are related to cervical cancers but they do not cause it, described more as if they are associative agents. Meanwhile, other high risks stains are linked to cancers affecting the head and neck. Before recommending treatment, I believe that much more research needs to be done. Looking back at the article, there is only 80% confirmed that these strains are connected to cervical cancers. The other harder strains are just affiliated with those cancers. There is a remaining 20% that seems to not be accounted for and needs to be researched more thoroughly to assign specific treatments to each. But knowing how that 80% affects the human body can help much more with the treatments that are needed immediately. The treatment should be administered to those who are biologically female during the early ages of 11-13. This time is recommended as the woman’s period starts developing throughout these early ages. This means that the cervix is also developing for the change that comes with the start of a period. This also increases the chances of cervical cancer in women and can eventually lead to developing the disease in the future. Cancer.org states that “About 4,290 women will die from cervical cancer.” Meanwhile, the CDC advises that without the vaccine, “HPV is estimated to cause nearly 36,000 cases of cancer in men and women every year in the United States. HPV vaccination can prevent 33,000 of these cancers by preventing the infections that cause them.” Therefore, a vaccination throughout their developmental years is necessary to prevent the disease from developing.