The human microbiome
is a community of bacteria that lives in our body. They have been found to play a key role in the functioning of our bodily functions. The variation within the microbiome plays a deterministic role in areas such as our immune response and also obesity.
Researchers use 'germ-free' mice to identify the link between bacteria and the biological functioning of the mice. These mice are delivered by cesarean section and raised in sterile plastic bubbles and can only exist in labs. They have shrunken hearts and lungs and also abnormalities in their intestine.
The increasing use of antibiotics have been linked to a rise of obesity and also allergies. Apart from that, the microbiome also varies across geographical locations and cultures.
The interdependence between the human body and the bacteria within us, and the interdependence between the bacteria and our environment and diet has led me to think is it ever possible for humans to live in a non-earth planet (such as Mars)?
Sources and more reading:
The Peacekeepers, by Moises Velasquez-Manoff. Scientific American, March 2015
Human gut microbiome viewed across age and geographyhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3376388/
Modern Medicine May Not Be Doing Your Microbiome Any Favorshttp://www.npr.org/2014/04/14/302899093/modern-medicine-may-not-be-doing-your-microbiome-any-favors
Image taken from:http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/04/09/how-the-gut-microbiome-influences-the-brain-and-vice-versa/