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We are human beings. Normally, one might take this to mean that, at least on a biological level, we are defined by our own genome. But living in and on the human body is an ecosystem of microorganisms that outnumber our own cells by at least a factor of ten. It is estimated that there are 100 times as many microbial genes as human genes associated with our bodies. Taken together, these microbial communities are known as the human microbiome. Recent technological and scientific advances, mainly in the field of metagenomics, are rapidly enriching our knowledge of the genomes and functions of many of these microbial communities.
The ultimate aim of much of this research is to discover how perturbations of the microbiome might be related to various diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and obesity. Other research is currently investigating the potential role of microbes in anxiety, depression, and autism. These findings have the potential to change the landscape of medicine. And they also have important philosophical and ethical implications.
The human microbiome may need to be thought of more as “a part of us” than as a part of the environment.
...several disciplines to correlate over here...which is one reason why "science" as we know it is faulty IMHO...too much specialization....and rigidity...but that is another topic altogether.
Originally posted by soficrow
reply to post by conlget
so who are we? what are we? we are a making as far as i can see.
As in constantly becoming?
...It is all very interesting isn't it? And so much for stasis and absolutes.