Bits and Pieces…

I’m really tired today and my brain is definitely even weirder than usual. (I was up about 10 times last night, and when I’d doze off, I kept dreaming of ways to fix the newest Star Wars movie (Rogue One) which we watched last night.  (Yeah –  just like the 3 prequels and Episode 7, it just didn’t cut it for me.) My brain’s solution:  insert Tyrion Lannister into the movie.  Honestly, I can’t tell you how much more enjoyable the movie was with him in it!)

So, this post is potluck.  I’ve read all kinds of interesting bits and pieces this week and since I’m having trouble concentrating, I figured, I’d better stick to simplicity and short paragraphs!

  1. Did you know   that 150 million people in Europe now suffer from allergies and that number is expected to increase to half the European population by 2025?[i]  Holy cow!
  2. New research[ii] was presented at the FEMS-2017 conference (for microbiologists) that shows that bacteriophages – which are viruses that infect bacteria – may alter the gut biome and cause increased gut permeability (leaky gut).  This could have tremendous relevance for illnesses like autism, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune illnesses.  (I’m sure Parkinson’s as well!)  That is, essentially, infection of the microbiome can lead to human disease.  (Of course, since these viruses have been present in all mammals for all of our evolutionary history, you do have to wonder why now they’re suddenly causing all these inflammatory illnesses.  Is it that we already have such depleted and altered biomes that this further depletion has become problematic?  Or is it that the species of bacteria we do have are more susceptible to these bacteriophages? Just hypothesizing for a moment…)
  3. I want to make sure you didn’t miss the research[iii] out of the University of Chicago this week that showed that antibiotic treatment in mice during pregnancy and early nursing period makes the pups more susceptible to developing inflammatory bowel disease later in life. As the antibiotic treatment did not cause the mothers to develop IBD, the researchers conclude that it’s all in the timing: “…the timing of antibiotic exposure is crucial, especially during the early developmental period after birth when the immune system is undergoing maturation.”   All I keep thinking about is my son being hospitalized at 36 hours old and pumped full of antibiotics for 5 days…who then went on to develop both IBD and autism.  (Don’t get me started.)

Ok…was I coherent?


[i] [i]



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