As a human being, you are not a single organism but a thriving ecosystem home to trillions of invisible, living microbes. These microbial jungles within you and upon you are critical for your health and survival and may influence everything from your risk of cancer to your sexual attractiveness. In this podcast series (Biomes), Dr. Ruairi Robertson explores the fascinating new developments in our understanding of the human microbiome and talks to leading scientific experts around the world about the incredible ways microbes affect your body, from belly to brain.
Ep. 7: Allergic Biomes | Prof. Susan Lynch
In this final episode of the series, I speak to Prof. Susan Lynch from University of California San Francisco. We discuss the hygiene hypothesis, which suggests that early life exposure to infections may protect against allergy and asthma, and how this may be relevant to the early life gut microbiome.
Ep. 6: Evolutionary Biomes | Professor Maria Gloria Dominguez Bello
Through our diets, hygiene practices, overuse of antibiotics and other aspects of our Westernised diets, we are losing much of the vast diversity of our gut microbiomes. In this episode for World Microbiome Day, I speak to Prof. Maria Gloria Dominguez Bello who has conducted fascinating work on the gut microbiomes of uncontacted Amerindian Tribes in the Amazon Jungle, who have amazingly diverse microbiomes. We also discuss her pioneering work on vaginal seeding in C-section births and her fascinating initiative to store microbial diversity through the global Microbiota Vault.
Ep. 5: Baby Biomes | Dr. Lindsay Hall
In this episode I speak to Dr. Lindsay Hall to studies the gut microbiomes of babies. She examines how preterm babies are more prone to infections and how we may be able to optimise their gut microbes in order to prevent and fight infections. We discuss the details of babies' immune systems, gut microbes and the new controversial method of 'vaginal seeding' during C-section births.
Ep. 4: Banking Biomes | Dr. Majdi Osman
Fecal transplants are one of the hottest, if not stomach-curling, topics in the field of the microbiome at the moment. They are extremely successful treatments for recurrent C. Diff infection. In this episode I speak with Dr. Majdi Osman who is the Clinical Programme Director of OpenBiome, a non-profit stool bank whom screen, store and distribute stool samples to hospitals all around the US for fecal transplants. We discuss the background of fecal transplants, the day-to-day difficulties of running a stool-bank and the future of this nauseating treatment for other diseases.
Ep. 3: Probiotic Biomes | Professor Gregor Reid
In this episode of Biomes, I speak with Professor Gregor Reid of the the University of Western Ontario and the Lawson Health Research Institute, one of the foremost researchers on probiotics. We discuss his research into UTIs, preterm birth, probiotic controversies and the future of beneficial microbes to fight disease.
Ep. 2: Brains and Biomes | Professor Ted Dinan
Have you ever had a gut feeling? Or butterflies in your stomach? Fascinating evidence now shows us that our intestines and brains and intricately linked through a number of physical and biochemical pathways and that our gut microbes are critical to these interactions. In this episode of Biomes, I speak with Professor Ted Dinan from University College Cork, one of the pioneers in the field of the gut-brain axis. We talk about the link between stress and infection, the latest knowledge around the vagus nerve and what diet he thinks may be key to gut-brain health. Enjoy!