A2:Microbes in the News

Title:  Specific Gut Microbes Linked With Depression: Study

Source:  The Scientist

Author:  Ashley Yeager

Date Published:  February 4, 2019

Article Link:  https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/specific-gut-microbes-linked-with-depression–study-65427

Summary:  This is a small article that nicely states some findings from a project called the Flemish Gut Flora project. The results seem to conclude that two types of bacteria, in the gut are depleted in people who suffer from depression the bacteria, Coprococcus and Dialister, were found to be two of the main bacteria that were missing in those with depression. The article states if the results are further confirmed (as this is one of the first major studies and findings of its kind) it could lead to a plethora of information about the gut-brain connection and further provide new solutions for mental illness. Concluding this article are a few different statements from different scientists, both involved in the study and not, on its importance as being the first step in discovering the major role the microbiome plays in health and disease.

Connections:  This article connects very closely to what we’ve been talking about in class in the sense that an argument could be made for microbes ruling the world. If this study is further confirmed it would be a stepping stone to realizing that almost all of the problems people have are on a microbe level. Every decision people make, that changes the world, is influenced by their mental clarity and how they are feeling. Therefore, I would say microbes do rule the world, as they influence every aspect of the people, animals, plants and everything that make up the world.

Critical Analysis: I found this article interesting because of the implications it was hinting towards. Saying that this was the first real stab at understanding a huge unknown microbiome and that it could be a tool to cure mental illness. I had heard this theory of the gut biome having more of an influence on the entire body before, but it was very interesting to see an article talking about a large scale study that had been done. I believe the story was accurate scientifically, it was a smaller article, but all the information on the study and the results can be found quite easily. It was written in a fairly easy to read way, where anyone in the general public could understand the general idea that the gut biome plays a role in depression. So I think it does a good job communicating science to the public, however I will say it definitely is trying to paint a much bigger picture for people to grasp on. While this research was a big project, it is one of the first and much more needs to be learned about the gut biome before one can truly say a link for depression is only these two gut bacteria.

Question: Do you think one-day, microbial gut ‘supplements’ could be a viable cure to mental illness or other disease?

1 Comment for “A2:Microbes in the News”



Very interesting how gut microbes can affect our neurochemistry and possibly be another avenue to treating mental illnesses or other illnesses. This article was very simple and intriguing, it didnt throw out any biological nonsense that is irrelevant. Just to the point. I believe that one day microbial gut supplement could become a viable cure to some diseases. However, I wonder if the decrease of those two bacteria are linked to the pesticides and antibiotics we use in our farming practices. Could they be indirectly causing the increased prevalence of mental disorders?

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