“I would like to lose the language of warfare,” said Julie Segre, a senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute. “It does a disservice to all the bacteria that have co-evolved with us and are maintaining the health of our bodies.”
Finally scientists are, sort of, starting to understand what Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda have always understood–that the body is a garden, not a machine.
But until they fundamentally alter their mindset, their solutions will still tend to be overly focused on what and under focused on why.
For example, applying healthy bacteria from outside the body onto the skin in someone prone to staph infections, which the rest of us don’t get because our bacterial barrier is healthy, is a wonderful idea, but in my opinion should be accompanied by asking the very obvious question “why does this unique individual’s skin does not make enough of the right bacteria.” Is it the use of anti-bacterial soap? Is it the use of petroleum based perfume? Is it the result of stress hormones or an emotional state altering the acid-base balance of the skin through the cascade of chemical reactions governed by the hypothalamus and sympathetic nervous system that is making her skin vulnerable to staph overgrowth?
” Rather than conducting indiscriminate slaughter, Dr. Segre and like-minded scientists want to be microbial wildlife managers.
No one wants to abandon antibiotics outright. But by nurturing the invisible ecosystem in and on our bodies, doctors may be able to find other ways to fight infectious diseases and with less harmful side effects.”
What scientists need to someday grasp, is that even the wildlife manager metaphor is insufficient. No, a doctor needs to be a gardener. These bacterial issues occur in unique living beings. Just how unique? According to this study http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v486/n7402/full/nature11234.html
” Studies of the human microbiome have revealed that even healthy individuals differ remarkably in the microbes that occupy habitats such as the gut, skin and vagina.”
So each of us has unique bacteria that exist on no one else. Each of us is a unique garden, and it will not surprise me one bit when they discover the role of these bacterias in our immune systems. And the factors that lead to malfunction in our body ecology, from overgrowth of bacteria in the bladder of an emotionally distraut women, to the development of acne during times of stress, to all the various and mysterious chemical sensitivities and allergies found in humans, can be complex and deep, involving diet, lifestyle, emotions, environment, and how we respond to stressors.