For the love of bacteria.

Welcome to the times of excessive obsessions with cleanliness. The generation of anti-bacterial gels and wipes and sprays will guide you through killing yourself slowly without having a clue. Please keep your socks on while you take the tour, you surely don’t want to expose your toes to fresh air and nice sensory feelings from the ground.

Today we discuss bacteria, the monster you fear and yet know so little about. Kindly put the anti-bacterial soap aside as I need to draw your attention to some facts.

Here is a chocking truth for you to process slowly today: As human beings we have hundreds of billions of bacteria in and on our bodies, more than the number of stars in our galaxy. According to Michael DEGROOTE School of Medicine in Ontario-Canada, in our guts alone, we hold one to two kilograms of bacteria that help us break down food into nutrients and thanks to these micro-organisms, our immune system is the strongest in our guts. In order to survive on this planet and develop our immune system, we must be colonized by Bacteria.

In 2010, Dr. Dusko Ehrlich in Jouy-en-Josas France, worked on sequencing the bacterial genome existing in human bodies and found 3000000 genes. His incredible work lead to categorizing humans in three groups, depending on the type of bacterial colony living in their guts. This means that our blood type is not the only criteria taken into consideration anymore and this also means that basic medical tests won’t be limited anymore to blood and urine exams but will have to include bacterial type tests as well.

Research in microbiology has proven that bacterial tests help reveal risks in humans to develop type II diabetes, cardio vascular disease and liver disease. Also, due to microbiotic research, scientists were able to find a specific bacteria responsible of obesity in some human beings. The presence of this bacteria is in fact very important to activate the work of certain genes responsible of burning fat. The absence of it would obviously lead to obesity.

Other highly interesting research revealed that the presence of some bacteria in some humans would reduce their ability to take risks. This crucial discovery revealed that bacteria has also a tremendous impact on our behaviour and our decision making. This leads to a scary question: Are we humans lead and controlled by bacteria? One thing is certain so far, we do not only have human genes in our bodies, but we also hold a bacterial genome having a critical impact on our health and behaviour. Of course, some bacteria are deadly and should be fought and killed but remember that attacking your own body’s bacteria means attacking yourself and your own immune system. Give this a thought before you attack you body and the environment with harsh chemicals and avoid unneeded unadvised use of antibiotics.

In this picture, Petri dishes art by artist KLARI REIS.



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