voices from the students of the University of Alaska
Author: Presley Coryell
I have always loved the intricacies of the human body. More recently I have developed an interest in the interactions between the body and its microbiome. I am graduating Spring 2018 with a BS in Biological Science with a concentration in Physiology; I plan on taking next year off to work in some labs and to travel, after which I will go to med school to become some kind of doctor.
Picture this, you are a field researcher who stumbles upon a population of diseased and mutated humans. These humans live in an environment plagued with disease and pollution. The question you have is whether the mutation in the humans caused the disease/pollution or if the disease/pollution caused the humans to mutate. This question forms the basis of what microbiologists are interested in today; is the gut microbiome causal in the formation of [autoimmune] diseases, or is the microbiota the result of the diseased environment in which they inhabit? Continue reading “Alterations of the gut microbiome in multiple sclerosis”
A unique and diverse array of inter-specific relationships can be found within the microbiome of the human gut. Due to the constant flow of microbe-carrying nutrients through it, the gut is subject to a high risk of foreign invaders. Fortunately the immune system, as well as the digestive tract (with the help of its residential microbes), have processes to rid themselves of the pathogenic strains (Ichinohe et al, 2011). These bodily systems provide a unique example of positive interactions between co-existent, and co-dependent, systems. Although the body can protect itself from damage induced by invading species, certain medical diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Crohn’s disease (CD), when combined with inflammation and intestinal distress are prone to exhibit symptoms such as “severe muscle wasting and fat loss” (Schieber et al 2015). Although the gut biome and the immune system may not always be capable of preventing these resultant health issues on their own, in conjunction they are capable of properly defending the body from muscular wasting caused by pathogenic effects.