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Huh? Microbiome Sequencing? Whaddat?

It’s what you’re really made of of that’s not the you, you. It’s all the little creatures that inhabit your mouth, sinus, gut, and other places in and around your body. In numerical terms, there’s 361 of “you,” and 360 of that is “them.” Yep, for every cell in your body, you’ve got 360 “others,” foreign cells. You’re just not the you you thought you were.

uBiome from uBiome on Vimeo.

This is a new citizen project startup that asked for $100,000 and has so far received $284,000. Here’s the project page: uBiome — Sequencing Your Microbiome.

A big deal has been made about gene sequencing, but besides being of some curiosity and interest, what are you really going to do about it? But lots of stuff can affect your inner bacteria and diet plays a huge role. And fecal transplants are just taking off and have proven to be remarkably effective.

This is something to keep an eye out for.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

11 Comments

  1. George @ the High Fat hep C Diet on February 13, 2013 at 21:12

    “A big deal has been made about gene sequencing, but besides being of some curiosity and interest, what are you really going to do about it?”
    Well put.

    Check this out, very much along your lines of thought:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/the-measured-man/309018/?single_page=true

    and his paper on computerizing microbiome sequencing and health in general:

  2. […] The Animal / Posted on: February 13, 2013 Free The Animal – It’s what you’re really made of of that’s not the you, you. It’s […]

  3. Gordon Shannon on February 13, 2013 at 15:43

    Interesting. I didn’t realize the ratio was to such a scale. Puts modern technological society in perspective – the potential impact of our technological environment upon our little friends (careful now) is no doubt vast.

    Also reveals the potential scale of the impact from early childhood environment. Food, how and where we play, the extent to which we are shielded from injuries and diseases. Even proximity to animals and other humans.

    And really we’re talking about a positive and negative causal connection here: those factors which improve our the little friends, and those factors harm them. Removing detrimental factors is one thing; we must also supply positive factors.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2013 at 18:32

      Yep, let those kids play in the dirt and put their fingers in their mouths.



  4. Karen on February 13, 2013 at 16:22

    Related article in the New Yorker I found fascinating. Loved the story about the guy with the ear infection who fixed it himself. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/10/22/121022fa_fact_specter

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2013 at 18:41

      That’s great Karen. When I wrote that bit about knowing your genome may not be all that, I was just thinking out loud. Nice that’s there’s some support for the idea.



  5. Gabriella Kadar on February 13, 2013 at 18:42

    …and what about the viruses? Another biggie. And fungi? Mouths are way dirtier than bumholes, believe it or not.

    Oh and amoeba…there’s amoebas too. I graduated in 1981. Sometime about 10 years ago I read about Amoeba gingivalis.

    …. just working in a real microbiological universe…. A hazardous job. Most people don’t appreciate what some of us get exposed to on a daily basis. (take lots of vitamin D. 🙂 )

  6. Gabriella Kadar on February 13, 2013 at 19:06

    Karen, thanks for putting up Michael Spector’s article. He’s awesome.

  7. George @ the High Fat hep C Diet on February 13, 2013 at 21:17

    P.S. the ratio of 361:1, this represents diversity, not mass or even cell numbers, but the fact that whereas all your cells carry much the same genes your microbiota has diverse genes, so there is a much greater amount of genetic information there. Like, when a police pathologist is analyzing tiny DNA samples from a hundred different people, their genome is outnumbered 100:1 by the biome on the table.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2013 at 22:51

      Thanks for the catch, George. I’ll see if I can understand it a bit better in the morning and reword it.



  8. CatherineakaCate on February 14, 2013 at 20:48

    I signed up for that about a month ago after hearing the Dave Asprey interview (I like him)…It might be informative to know something about your ‘profile’ or one could view it as a baseline.

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