Book Review: “Your Baby’s Microbiome” is an Excellent Resource

Book Review: “Your Baby’s Microbiome” is an Excellent Resource

Your Baby’s Microbiome: The Critical Role of Vaginal Birth and Breastfeeding for Lifelong Health summarizes the latest scientific research on the benefits of vaginal birth and breastfeeding to an infant’s microbiome. Written for childbirth educators, doulas, midwives, lactation consultants, and interested parents, Your Baby’s Microbiome is packed full of detailed information on the microbial and epigenetic differences between vaginal and c-section births. For the parent debating between a scheduled c-section or vaginal birth – this book is a must read. Your Baby’s Microbiome provides all readers with the latest science – straight from the researchers – on how vaginal birth and breastfeeding are thought to influence gut microbiome establishment.   Sticks to the Data I greatly appreciated the restraint of the authors in discussing areas like water-birthing and in-caul births, where the research has not been done. They make it extremely clear that the research hasn’t been done, but then do provide thoughtful ideas from the data currently available. I find this extremely important for such a rapidly developing science. Perhaps the reason Your Baby’s Microbiome doesn’t over-reach is because the book was written from interviews with the scientists done for the documentary Microbirth. “The movie had to have one central message and we

Ask Professor Microbe: Should I buy refrigerated probiotics?

Ask Professor Microbe: Should I buy refrigerated probiotics?

“Hey Professor Microbe” – the text from my next-door neighbor read – “What probiotics are better for me to buy, the ones on the shelf or the ones that are refrigerated?” Professor Microbe (Anne @mostlymicrobes): “Why are you buying probiotics?” Neighbor: “General gut health” PM: “Don’t! Spend the money on PRE-biotics – fruits, veggies, and live fermented foods.” Probiotics are quite the established health fad with over 36.6 billion USD in sales in 2015! WOAH! In general, we don’t need them. The average person who eats a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables feeds their own personal “probiotics” in their digestive system, primarily the large intestine. Feed what you have. Think whole grains and “Eat a Rainbow” of different colors and kinds of plants. My favorite gut microbiome-food book talking about good eating and the gut microbiome is The Good Gut. For an idea of what my family and I eat, check out my Instagram feed or #feedthemicrobes. “When should a healthy person take probiotics?” Pretty much just after taking wide spectrum antibiotics. These antibiotics kill many different kinds of bacteria – invading pathogens and your native microbes (tetracyclines, cephalosporins, aminopenicillins (ampicillin, amoxicillin)). For people with medical issues, I

7 ways The BioCollective Will Accelerate Microbiome Research and Change Medicine

7 ways The BioCollective Will Accelerate Microbiome Research and Change Medicine

The BioCollective – transforming and accelerating microbiome research and novel therapies – while saving our human microbiome diversity and maybe you. Your poop is more than just waste. If you think that microbiome research has changed medicine – you ain’t seen nothing yet. The BioCollective (TBC) is transforming citizen science microbiome research from sample collection to the potential for providing a return on your initial “deposit”. TBC is building a microbiome data and sample repository to help scientists accelerate their research and development of potential therapeutics. TBC’s unique approach to microbiome citizen science research is due to the perfect trinity of collaborators: Martha Carlin, Jack Gilbert, PhD, and Suzanne Vernon, PhD. TBC is the brainchild of self-trained citizen scientist Martha Carlin, a former systems analyst who “turned around” struggling companies. Martha realized that for microbiome research to aid or even cure microbiome-related diseases, a new, integrative, multi-pronged approach was needed and a wider diversity of people should be sampled.     The BioCollective provides solutions to many of the current issues with human microbiome research. A clean poop sample TBC Member issue: People are often totally “icked” out and may have trouble collecting high quality sample. Researcher issue: TBC Members

Martha Carlin: A Visionary Citizen Scientist Changing Microbiome and Medical Research

Martha Carlin: A Visionary Citizen Scientist Changing Microbiome and Medical Research

    Self-trained citizen scientist, Martha Carlin, founds The BioCollective to accelerate microbiome research and therapies. “Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson His vacant stare told Martha Carlin something was wrong with her 44-year-old husband. Many doctor’s visits later, the diagnosis – Parkinson’s Disease. A systems analyst and expert in turning around companies, Martha Carlin was determined to turn around the doctor’s prognosis that Parkinson’s would kill her husband. So for the next 15 years, she began pouring her energy, time, and disposable income into becoming a self-trained scientist. Starting with one of Michael J. Fox’s book, Martha read hundreds of books about nutrition, disease, and immunology. With the help of a childhood friend who was a college librarian and Googling for unfamiliar terms, Martha read scientific journal articles. Slowly she put together a mind map of different potential genetic and environmental influences that might have led to her husband’s Parkinson’s disease. During Parkinson’s Disease, brain cells stop producing the chemical messages that allow for coordinated movement. Patients gradually lose control of their muscles. As she interviewed Parkinson’s patients, Martha noticed that many had frequently used antibiotics, had

4 Microbiome Educational Activities for the Classroom

4 Microbiome Educational Activities for the Classroom

Four different activities help educators from K-12 and undergraduate teach students about the importance of the human microbiome. Want to teach about the importance of the human microbiome, but don’t really know where to start? The ASM education blog just released a post – Bring the Magic of the Microbiome to Your Classroom – pulling together four of the microbiome exercises that have been published in JMBE recently. Take a look at these different classroom microbiome activities. I especially, love that there’s one – Microbe Motels – for K-8 and am looking forward to trying it out! Check out the Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education (JMBE) published by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). JMBE is the educational journal of the society and features excellent classroom activities. It’s open access and even FREE for members to publish in! WIN WIN!