The Gut Phylogeny of Humility

Given that humans are vessels for billions of organisms and carry more microbial DNA than our own, I have always been fascinated by the suggestion that we may have evolved to serve their needs.  It is a humbling and weird thought.  This makes a recent study by Howard Ochman and colleagues all the more fascinating.

They have found that the microbial communities to which we play host (and without which we could not survive) reflect evolutionary relationships between primates-hominids, regardless of diet.  We will rely heavily on those communities over the coming days, while we are eating turkey and our chimp cousins are munching on forest produce.

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