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Our microbial partners, and how to look after them | Graham Rook | TEDxLSE

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Humans, like other animals, are not individuals. Rather, we are ecosystems containing more microbial cells (microorganisms) than human ones. These microorganisms contain much more DNA, encoding far more metabolic pathways than are found in our human genomes, and every cell in the human body is continuously bathed in biologically active products of microbial metabolism. This talk describes how and why this situation evolved, and outlines how we know that these microbial products are essential for good health, and are involved in the development and function of our organs, including the brain. Finally, the talk describes ways in which our microbial partners are becoming damaged and depleted by the modern life-style and by human agricultural and industrial activities, and lists some of the serious consequences for human health. The public must demand investigation of the effects of man-made environmental pollutants on our microbial partners. Graham Rook is emeritus Professor of Medical Microbiology at UCL (University College London). He was educated at the University of Cambridge and at St. Thomas’ Hospital London.He became professor of medical microbiology at UCL in 1994. The theme of his research was initially the immunopathology of tuberculosis, but in recent years GR’s focus has been the application of a Darwinian perspective to the effects on health of diminishing exposure to microorganisms, and of the changing composition of our symbiotic microbiota.GR coined the expression “Old Friends Hypothesis” tohighlight a Darwinian re-interpretation of the hygienehypothesis in 2003. Recently, in collaboration withneuroscientists and psychiatrists, this thinking has been applied to certain forms of depression and other psychiatric disorders that are accompanied by persistently raised biomarkers of inflammation. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx


TEDxTalks English Health Biodiversity Biology Body Disease Microbiology Research Science
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