What’s Bugging You?
Carl Zimmer, one of my favorite science writers—and a really nice person—wrote a fascinating piece in today’s New York Times. To over simplify: We, humans, are just outer shells for a wonderland of bacteria residing within. Some of them are good. Some aren’t so good. And some are nasty. I’m talking about the bacteria and their outer humans.
You should read his piece to get all the juicy details. One thing he doesn’t talk about, but the piece got me thinking about: How is all of our so-called newfangled health fads influencing our inner-bacterial world. I mean, if scientists are right—and I think they are—that we need our complex mix of good gut flora, then what’s the point of cleansing with juice fasts and colonics and everything else that seems to attack our insides willy-nilly?
Seems to me we may be doing more harm than good.
Check out this exhibit from 2007 that was at The Science Gallery in Trinity College, Dublin. Warning: It’s a huge Yuck Factor, but as he puts it, the point was to alter our perception of bacteria and what it means to be human