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Yes, overweight people have different gut biomes than thin people. No, it's not so simple that bacteria causes obesity. If you feed your gut lots of junk food, bacteria that thrive on junk food will take over the gut.
A lot of enormous claims are made regularly in the media about our biomes. This book is necessary for better interpreting those claims.
And it comes with fascinating insights. Where does bacteria for processing pineapple come from? When we (or our ancestors) eat pineapple, the bacteria that hang out on it enters the gut and makes a home there. Of course. Bacteria often makes such a home in animals that it becomes domesticated and can no longer live anywhere else. Our bacteria might help us now, but they have no moral desire to do so: change the incentives and they can turn on us, and some pathogens actually kill by using our own bacteria against us. When we die, our bacteria eat us :*(
Most fascinating of all: bacteria not only exchange genes with each other, but sometimes with plants, sometimes with insects, and sometimes even with mammals. The kind of gene exchange we once thought only existed in artificial "genetic engineering" actually happens in nature, even with animals. Wow. I'd like to understand this process better.
Absolutely recommend this book.
The narrator is great, but you have to forgive him for some weird pronunciations. Pronouncing controversy as "conTRAvasy" should be illegal.
51 of 51 people found this review helpful
I am a microbiology major fresh out of college, and I personally really enjoued this book. i found it pretty digestable and good at explaining the basic tennants of bacteria and such before getting into the meat. If you are well versed in general microbiology, I'd reccomend getting past the build up-its a necessary evil for those not well versed in the topic and the actual meat of the book is really interesting. It was pretty neat to see current research I had even heard of in the book and everything was well put together-he even cautions that some of this science may not hold up in humans or may have inaccuracies to it, which is a very good idea in my mind given the volatility you can sometimes find in concepts or research later on. Highly reccomended.
The narrator does a good job keeping things flowing and entertaining, and I didn't notice any mispronunciation on his part in terms of science terms except rarely.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful