Reflect on the peer-review process with you as the reviewer. How did it feel to read and critique someone else’s writing? What did you learn that you can apply to your own writing as you revise your final essay?
Being the reviewer, it was tricky trying to understand their thesis since I wasn’t familiar with the various studies that they analyzed. It was a great experience because I got to learn new things. I learned that terms may need a bit more explanation. I found myself getting a bit confused when terms weren’t explained directly. I tried to apply that to my own essay.
If I had the opportunity to select a project that would receive funding, I’d choose the project that looked at birth control. I’m interested to see how the use of exogenous hormones affects the gut microbiota as well as the vaginal and uterine microbiota. I’m also curious how copper IUDs affect uterine microbiota. More and more women are relying on birth control methods to prevent pregnancy, alleviate menstrual symptoms or to help treat endometriosis. Unfortunately many women also experience cruel side effects. It would be interesting to look at the microbiome before and after birth control use to see if microbes could be influencing side effects or even birth control failure. As more women are turning to birth control methods, I think this will be worthwhile to investigate. I’d hope results will help pharmaceutical companies and engineers to develop birth control methods that won’t alter the microbiota too drastically if that is the case. If there is no change or fluctuation while on birth control, then we’ll know that microbes are not a factor in side effects or failure.
Non-Infectious Diseases influence by microbes:
- Heart Disease
- Mental Illness
Each week, I’ve learned more about how the microbiome could potentially alter other organ systems. This diseases I listed above were not ones I’d associate with microbes. My main take away from this course is that microbes influence health, more than I’ve considered. Perhaps this is something people should be more aware about. If I’m ever faced with prescriptions or treatments, I will definitely consider the impacts they could possibly have on my microbiota and long term effects that could be associated with that. I hope that biomedical engineers and doctors can work together to create new treatments that consider the individual microbiome.