Finding Genius Podcast
The Mission of Microbes – Eugene B. Chang, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago – The Microbiome, What We Know Thus Far
Feb 20, 2020 · 44 min
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In this podcast, Eugene B. Chang, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, discusses his team’s research studying the microbiome and microbes. 

Podcast Points:

  • How does the microbiome impact health?
  • What is the mission of microbes?
  • How do probiotics work, and are they effective?

Chang’s lab is interested in the important connection between intestinal microbiota and their human host, and what happens when there is conflict. Chang was an important voice in the Human Microbiome Project, a US National Institutes of Health (NIH) research initiative created to increase understanding of the microbial flora that play a pivotal role in human health and disease progression. 

Chang discusses the uniqueness of a person’s microbiome. But he states that we all actually share some types of microbes. Chang explains core microbiomes, and their important functions. He provides examples of how the microbiome works, and the role of microbes. Continuing, Chang discusses stability issues regarding the microbiome, and their need for resiliency. He talks about the many factors that are involved, outlining and detailing how select microbial communities function, in regard to networks and stability. And he explains that the interplay between dietary and environmental issues can certainly affect the stability of the microbiome. He talks about diversity within the microbiome, and how it may not be as important as many have proposed.

Chang talks about immune disorders and he provides an overview of what microbial communities can do to maintain stability. He continues, discussing probiotics, and why they may not stay around as long as we’d like because nonresident microbes often have trouble breaking into very established microbial communities. 

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