Class blog for sharing and commenting on current events in biology.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Me, Myself, Us

This article is about a huge discovery that flipped biology upside down.  This discovery changed what many people know the human body to be.  This new discovery shows that in the human body the ratio from bacteria to cells is 10:1.  "A healthy adult human harbors some 100 trillion bacteria in his gut alone."  Scientists have discovered that these bacteria have surprising effects on obesity, malnutrition, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, autism, and many other diseases.  This is related to both obesity and malnutrition because of the kind of bacteria you have.  Having bad bacteria can lead to both of these things.  He shows this by testing his theories on twins.  When feeding them equal nutrition 50% of the time 1 twin would be well nourished and the other would be malnourished.    By altering the bacteria inside a person scientists can now fix malnutrition.  Dr. Nicholson discovered that high blood pressure is also related to this new view on science.  The formic acid in the gut microbes causes high salt absorption in the kidneys leading to high blood pressure.  So once again by altering bacteria scientists may be able to fix this.  By using this same strategy many new problems may also be fixed.

I think this article is very important to society because of all the new views on human health.  I think that this will help cure many diseases in people and make the world a better place.  I chose this article because I was very interested about how knowing that we have so much bacteria would affect our society.   

I really think what scientists are working on now is phenomenal.  I think that these scientists have changed biology forever and have ventured even further into a new realm in medical science.  I think the article was very well written and the author stated all ideas clearly.  I enjoyed reading about how this would affect our society today and in the future to come.  Overall I thought it was a well written, interesting article that will change our world forever.   


  1. Jack Boyd
    C Even
    November 14, 2012

    I thought that this was a very well written piece by Hank. I found his
    writing to be clear and fluent. One thing I liked was his dramatic
    tone, it made his work much more interesting and easier to read, for
    example when he said, “This article is about a huge discovery that
    flipped biology upside down.  This discovery changed what many people
    know the human body to be.” It made the article more fun to read
    certainly. Another thing he did right was his excellent description on
    the subject. Someone like me who doesn’t know much of bacteria and its
    uses was easily caught up to speed in his short analysis. Another
    thing I was impressed with was Hank’s frank but concise explanation on
    why this discovery would benefit our society. He summed it up nicely
    and was very concise with the way he presented it.
       Some things that intrigued me about the content of this article are
    the fact that the cell: bacteria ratio is 10:1. This little nugget of
    information may appall some people, but it is one of the sole reasons
    you are here as you are today. Hank is right, bacteria really are an
    unsung hero and has been clouded by the stereotype that it will make
    you fatally ill. But not so, Hank just summed it up for us in his
    excellently presented summary of this information and has educated us
    on the benefit that bacteria can bring to us. Thank you for that Hank.
    If I could make one small recommendation would be to tell you not to
    be afraid to elaborate on the analysis. How would this be used to cure
    diseases and how would it change our society. I have nothing else to
    add. Good job Hank.

  2. Harry Pyle 11/14/12
    I enjoyed reading this review by Hank and I thought he did a very good job. In the article, it discusses a revolutionary discovery in the world of biology; that in the human body the ratio of bacteria to cells is 10:1. When I first read this fact, I was very surprised; how could there be such a great ratio of bacteria to cells in the human body? Reading on, I soon found that this discovery was related to both obesity and malnutrition. This was because having certain kinds of bad bacteria can cause both of those things. It was very surprising to me to see that because it seems that if the body has so many bacteria, it would not be harmful. Obviously, this is not the case for some bacteria and some can be harmful, which leads to more questions. One question that arose was how do more people not have those conditions if the bacteria are so common? It was new to me to see the world of bacteria as presented in the article. I knew that bacteria were everywhere and that it was very common, but I did not know it was common on the scale that was described in the article, outside and inside the body.
    I also found the fact that many new problems have the potential to be fixed through altering the bacteria. For example, formic acid in the gut microbes causes high salt absorption in the kidneys leading to high blood pressure. By altering the bacteria, scientists might be able to fix this problem, and use the same method to apply to other complications. I thought that Hank did a very good job writing this review. It made sense from start to finish in a logical order and he presented all the information well. I thought that Hank’s understanding of the article helped him analyze it well and ultimately worked for his benefit. In the future, I suggest that Hank elaborate a little bit more on the analysis in order to further the reader’s understanding of his thought. Other than that, I thought he did a very good job.

  3. Owen Balseiro 11/13/12
    Core Bio comment on Hanks article Ms. Davies
    I think that this discovery about the ratio of bacteria to cells being 10:1 is huge. And how it’s been linked to many different diseases that have plagued humanity is a very big thing. What I found really interesting is the fact that doctors can change a baby from malnourished to nourished just by changing the bacteria in your gut. What I also found interesting is that a healthy adult human can harbor over 100 trillion bacteria alone and this could be really important because since there are so many more extensive research. This could lead to many breakthroughs in the field of bacterial study and maybe they could be used in the future to combat other disease causing bacteria or be used to kill cancer cells, the uses are endless.
    What I thought that hank did well was choose an interesting topic and show its usefulness and how relatable it is to our world today. I also thought he did a good job giving a simple over view of what this breakthrough could do and how it turned the biology world on its head.
    What I do not think hank did well was go into much detail about how it worked and what it could do in its early stages. Since the review was very short it did not go into much of what and how it worked and did and I really was disappointed because he did grab me with the topic and what it could do. I am looking forward to seeing more articles about this topic and the breakthroughs in medicine it can help in the future. This could mean a better world with less diseases plaguing its people.

  4. Isabelle Shinsato
    Me, Myself, Us
    I think this was a very clear and well written report. Hank did a great job at not making the report too wordy and he was able to explain all his points very well. His summary was very well presented and informative he was able to get down to the point without just re-stating everything in the article. I thought the examples he used from the article really helped me understand the problem of bad bacteria and all the diseases it causes and how scientists are trying to fix it. I also think that Hank was able to show how much he liked learning about this topic and how he thinks that this research could really help people one day.
    There were many things in this article that I had never heard about before and that really interested me. Something that stood out to me was how scientists discovered that bacteria can have an effect on a variety of diseases from obesity to autism and more, I never would have expected bacteria to be the cause for these diseases and I thought that was very interesting. I also thought it was very interesting how Dr.Nicholson was able to test his theory on twins and how by altering the bacteria inside a person scientists can now fix malnutrition, which is an amazing accomplishment. Over all I think that Hank did a great job writing this report and he really showed that he understood the topic and was able to write a very good report. In the future I think Hank needs to elaborate more on what about this topic is important to society, not just saying that it is important. He also needs to include the author of the article and a link to the article next time.

  5. Biology Spencer Cox
    Blog comment 12/20/12

    I read Hanks summary on the article Me, Myself and, Us. This article was incredibly interesting due to the fact that I had no idea that 100 trillion bacteria live in a healthy adults gut. The fact alone that this amazing fact was found in this article that Hank chose proves that he has a very good sense of what articles are relevant to biology and specifically to what we are learning. The second thing that I found to be incredibly interesting in Hanks article was his that formic acid in the guts microbes causes high salt absorption. I found this interesting because I know for a fact that many of us eat foods that have a high concentration in salt and I never stopped to thing how dangerous and quickly it could build up in your system and begin to cause problems. The third thing that was well presented in this summary from Hank was the way he formatted his information and structured his summary. There was honestly no better way to structure the summary because it included all the important facts and didn't fail to miss any key points or important details. Two new things I learned from this article that I personally found to be interesting were the fact that up to 100 trillion bacteria live in a healthy adults gut. This struck me due to the fact that I don't really see how a healthy adult is considering to be healthy when they have so much bacteria living in such a important part of their body knowing how much damage they can cause in a short period of time. I also found it interesting that this is becoming a increasingly serious issue due to the fact that it was so recently discovered but it already being worked on very actively and is near the point of being solved so that it is no longer a problem. The only thing in this review that could be improved would be the way that the facts were introduced due to the fact that they were kind of all thrown on the reader all at one time but other than that the review was incredibly interesting and engaging.

  6. Kylie Kardos
    C - Odd
    Hank’s review on the discovery that in the human body the ratio from bacteria to cells is 10:1 is very clear and concise. Although it is short, it emphasizes the main points and important details very well. I found his summary to be really interesting and easy to read without losing focus. For example, he quotes from the article, “A healthy adult human harbors some 100 trillion bacteria in his gut alone.” He then explains that scientists have found that these bacteria have unexpected effects on obesity, malnutrition, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, autism, and numerous additional diseases. This allows the reader to learn about bacteria in a clear, not wordy way. Another thing I liked about Hank’s review is that he backs up all the points he makes with details and examples from the article. For instance, he states that having bad bacteria can lead to both obesity and malnutrition and then further backs that point up by stating that testing these theories on twins have shown that when feeding them equal nutrition, 50% of the time 1 twin will be well nourished, and the other, malnourished. A final thing I liked about Hank’s review is how he briefly explains how this discovery will benefit our society. For example, he states that he believes these new discoveries will help cure numerous diseases and will ultimately make the world a better place. I was surprised to learn that by altering the bacteria inside a person, scientists can fix malnutrition. Another fact that I found interesting was that the ratio from bacteria to cells is 10:1, as I did not think that the amount of bacteria within each cell is that big. The only suggestion that I have for Hank is to go into more detail about bacteria to provide the reader with more background knowledge of the topic before jumping into the discovery. Other than that, he did a great job highlighting the important points of the article and teaching his reader about the topic in a clear way.