The Human Salivary Microbiome: Where the environment trumps genetics


Genetics and the environment; how do these interact? Do they always interact, or do genetics sometimes overrule characteristics learned from our environment? The question of nature, generally thought of to be our genetic make-up, versus nurture, the environments we’re exposed to in our developmental years,  has been the topic of debate by scientists and philosophers for centuries. Yet, the definitive answer still frustratingly eludes us. Some things, like the number of limbs we’re born with, are entirely decided by genetic factors. Other things, like many of our behaviors, rely on an interaction between genetics and developmental environment. Continue reading “The Human Salivary Microbiome: Where the environment trumps genetics”

Artificial Sweeteners: The Sour Alternative

Artificial sweeteners were a great idea in the fight against sugar consumption. Excessive amounts of sugar come with consequences such as obesity, inflammation, cardiovascular problems and more. Finding an alternative was a must.  Enter artificial sweeteners, also called non-nutritive sweeteners or sugar substitutes. These low and zero-calorie substitutes allowed us to keep eating sweets without having to worry about the consequences. They replaced sugar in many snacks and drinks and kept us all happy.

Originally seen as a godsend by many health-minded individuals, including doctors who recommended it for weight-loss in patients with type 2 diabetes (Suez, 2014), this seemingly healthy alternative may not be as great as the hype accompanying it. Continue reading “Artificial Sweeteners: The Sour Alternative”