How microbes could cure disease: Rob Knight at TED2014

TED Blog

Robert Knight. Photo: James Duncan Davidson Robert Knight. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

The ancient Egyptians went to great pains to preserve the body for the afterlife. But there was one part of the body they didn’t bother with: the brain. Instead, they mashed it up, pulled it out of the nose and discarded it. Rob Knight wonders: Is there a part of our bodies that has just as much to do with who we are and  how we feel that we haven’t yet paid much attention to? Yes, he says. And it’s our gut.

Knight’s lab studies our microbial landscape, which he explains is “critical to a whole range of what makes people different.” For example, if you’re one of those people who gets attacked by mosquitos while no one else around the campfire gets a single bite, it’s probably because of the microbes on your skin. Meanwhile, microbes in the gut determine whether painkillers are…

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