What happens if all microbes … disappear

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We are constantly fighting microbes. We use various antibacterial agents, trying to make the environment as sterile as possible. But let’s imagine that one day all microbes will disappear from the face of the earth. What happens then?

Ed Yong, author of the bestselling book How Microbes Control Us, attempted a purely theoretical view of this idea. And here’s what happened.

If suddenly all microbes suddenly disappeared, life itself on Earth would be in question. Together with infectious diseases, intestinal microbes that help to digest food would disappear. Grazing mammals are completely dependent on them, which microbes help to dissolve the tough fibers of the grass that enters the stomach. These animals would simply starve to death. Insects also cannot do without bacteria to make up for nutrient deficiencies in their diets. It is impossible to imagine the life of the inhabitants of the ocean depths without microbes. People who also depend on microbes for their survival will suffer the consequences of all this.

Each has its own microbiome, including the inherited genes, food and medicine we took, remembering the places where we lived and the people we came into contact with.

Microbiome research, which has not been taken seriously for a long time, is very popular today. They showed that many diseases, including asthma, colon cancer, diabetes and autism, are associated with changes in the microbiome. If this is indeed the case, then it is possible to influence the disease simply by changing the types of microbes in our microbiome, removing some bacteria and planting others. While this is still a new and little-studied field of science, but extremely promising.

Therefore, maybe you shouldn’t fight so zealously with microbes? It is important to understand how this microcosm works and functions. Therefore, we recommend that you read “I Contain Many” with Ed Yong’s key ideas.

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September 3, 2020 |
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