Summary: Microbes keep us sexy. Because there are so many microbes in the world that are dangerous to humans, we tend not to focus on the one that keep us healthy or even the ones that could keep us sexy. According to this article by Moises Velasquez-Manoff, sharing microbes through kissing (like you mean it), spending time with close friends, and caring for infants, we self-vaccinate by trading microbes with people who have different microbes inside of them then we do. According to this classic Swiss study, microbes can also give us a “healthy glow” or a “sexy” smell that can attract people with opposite immune system genes. This article also references a study with mice where some mice where give a probiotic that made them more attractive to mice of the other sex and made female mice more fertile. Trading microbes with other people can help keep is more healthy overall and help produce healthier offspring.
Connections: We have discussed useful microbes in class, specifically microbes that are in our guts. This article goes into more detail about how the microbes that are already inside us can be beneficial.
Critical Analysis: I found this article as a whole extremely interesting. I think it is especially interesting that animals such as young elephants and naked mole rats actively try to acquire microbes from their parents. Young elephants eat the feces of their mother to acquire microbes necessary for digestion and makes mole rats babies beg their parents for their anal excretions. That is both extremely gross and super cool. The prospect of probiotics that could make you more attractive or fertile is through-provoking.
Question: If a “super probiotic” that could make you more attractive could exist or was created for human use, would you take it? Why or why not?