1. Why is processed meat bad for you?
The consumption of factory-produced foods has negative effects on the human body because some species of beneficial bacteria were removed. Lack of consumption of fermented food will bring the extinction of good food-borne microbes in one’s gut, decreasing microbiota diversity. In a less diverse ecosystem, there is a greater risk of collapse that could affect one’s health.
2. Write a brief account on the role of microbiota in the autism spectrum disorders.
Microbial imbalances in the microbiota of the gut may cause abnormalities which can trigger neuropsychiatric symptoms in people with autism spectrum disorders. There has been evidence that suggests a link between autism and gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances. If the microbiota in the gut can be balanced and the GI disturbances cured, autism may be less severe.
3. “We live in a microbial world”. How do you understand this phrase? Explain what is meant with some relevant examples.
What Justin and Erica Sonnenburg meant by stating the quote was to emphasize how microbes dominate the world in number, also saying that “there are more microbes on your hand than there are people in the world.” Compared to humans, microbes have evolved for as long as they did, but they are better adapted to their environment because they can reproduce within minutes. Single-celled microbes were determined to be about 3.5 billion years old and are the oldest life form on Earth, whereas humans recently emerged about 200,000 years ago. This does not stop them from making their own homes inside the human body. Humans are unable to prevent the microbes from living within their bodies, so they are forced to work together; the Sonnenburgs called it “the Forced Partnership.” The only time humans are free from microbes is before they come out of their mothers’ wombs. Just being born and exposed to the external environment will immediately force them to coexist with the freeloading microbes. Fortunately, most of the microbes are beneficial to humans. They can help humans digest the food into smaller molecules for use. The microbes are also able to release chemical products during fermentation in the gut. To conclude, this is a microbial world because the microbes are located almost everywhere and are in large populations. To determine if a planet such as Mars is life sustaining, scientists look for living microbes. The Sonnenburgs boldly state that without microbes, humans would not exist
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