This week: entrepreneurship in the developing world [00:47], microbes and the immune system [10:52], and robots that fly [20:51]; plus, a few stories from our online daily news site [30:28].
In Missing Microbes, Dr. Martin Blaser argues that the overuse of antibiotics, as well as now-common practices like C-sections, may be messing with gut microbes.
Trillions of microbes live on and in the human body, tucked into very different ecosystems. Some like the dark, warm confines of the mouth. Others prefer the desert-dry skin of the forearm. The biggest and most active collection of microbes hang out in the gut.
Maybe you thought your body was a noble castle poised against the onslaughts and invasions of the world. Well, think again. It turns out, we are the world. Our bodies are loaded with a jungle of microbial life, inside and out, that is essential to healthy life.
New science has found ten times as many bacteria cells as human cells in and on the human body. A load of microbes that work with us from the moment of birth in all kinds of key ways. Killing them off, avoiding them, may make us sick. Make us fat.
This hour, On Point: Microbes are us. The amazing full ecology of the human body.