I know I’m supposed to be in hibernation, but something came up that was so good I just had to share it with you.
You know by now that I am totally fascinated by the human microbiome, those trillions of microbes that make up most of the human organism. I’ve written here on Gydle about how microbes in our guts may implicated in a variety of ailments, from diabetes to Parkinson’s to obesity and irritable bowel disease.
I also wrote recently that the massive NIH-finded Human Microbiome Project has had a number of publications like this one in Nature Magazine that outline thier discoveries about the makeup and function of a “healthy” human microbiome. I have a feeling that what we find out about the microbiome may well revolutionize our approach to health and medicine.
You might also remember from last year that I’m also fascinated by the concept of crowdsourcing, a kind of data gathering approach that takes information freely and painlessly from tons of people who are just going about their ordinary lives. They’re mined for data while driving, surfing the internet, ordering things online, logging into websites, reading wikipedia pages, looking at the stars, pooping… Continue reading
All kinds of exciting things have been happening, and I haven’t written about any of them. Some of them involve running, and they will appear in the next post. This one is about my other current favorite topic, the human microbiome.
Last week The New York Times had two very interesting articles, one about eating the weeds in your backyard, and another about the human microbiome. The first one speaks for itself. Apparently eradication can be dropped in favor of ingestion. Maybe I’ll give it a try. In any case it eases my weed aversion just that much more. The second article covers research being done in association with the Human Microbiome Project. Here’s my favorite quote:
Dr. Barnett Kramer, director of the division of cancer prevention at the National Cancer Institute, who was not involved with the research project, had another image. Humans, he said, in some sense are made mostly of microbes. From the standpoint of our microbiome, he added, “we may just serve as packaging.” Continue reading
Today is world sleep day.
In celebration, I urge you all to drop everything and take a nap.
As I mentioned back in April last year, research has shown that getting 8 hours of sleep a night is important for optimal cognitive function. We all know how crappy we feel when we’re sleep-deprived. Brain fuzz takes over. We start to yawn uncontrollably in an effort to oxygenate our exhausted neurons. Our eyes start hurting and feeling dry, prompting us to rub them for relief. Every horizontal surface starts to look attractive. But there is a lot more to it than just feeling lousy.