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AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting AMA Series: Hi reddit! I’m Eran Elinav and I study the diet-microbiome-metabolism axis. Ask me anything!
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Hi reddit! The microbes that inhabit humans – collectively called the microbiome – play a critical role in human development and physiology and can be considered an additional organ. They play major roles in food digestion, immune system development, and inflammation and directly affect the growing epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and asthma in industrialized societies over the past 50 years. I’m Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science, and I study how the microbiome effects humans (especially in regards to their diet) as well as how it can affect entire societies-shaping them through both common diseases and pandemics. I’m looking forward to answering questions about the several major ways microbes affect humans. Microbes play a major role in early childhood development, including affecting the immune system and even brain development. Our society’s obsession with cleanliness and antibiotics is thus having a major impact on childhood development, including recently identified early microbiota effects on asthma. Obesity and diabetes rates are skyrocketing worldwide, and recent data indicate that the microbiome plays a central role, including the finding that obesity can be transferred through feces. By understanding an individual’s microbiome, it is now possible to design a personalized diet, resulting in weight loss. In addition, historical evidence reveals that microbes significantly affect societal development. By studying ancient microbial DNA, new insights have been shed on the plagues and pandemics that have shaped our history. I’ll be back at 3 pm EST to answer your questions! Ask me anything! EDIT:Thanks so much for a stimulating conversation, had a great time. Eran