Title: “Microbes, A Love Story” by Moises Velasquez-Manoff
Article Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/opinion/sunday/microbes-a-love-story.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FMicrobiology&action=click&contentCollection=science®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=collection
Source: NY Times
Date: February 10th, 2017
Summary: Apparently our unique microbiome can make us more attractive to certain individuals. Susan Erdman, a researcher at M.I.T., had given a probiotic to female mice that is naturally found in human breast milk. This resulted in female mice with abnormally lustrous fur and male mice with abnormally high testosterone levels. The levels of a protein called interleukin 10 also went up in these female mice when given the probiotic; this protein helps ensure successful pregnancy. By helping hosts, it is possible that microbes are ensuring their own legacy by interacting with the microbiome of the host’s partner.
Connections: Strongly related to the human microbiome lecture. Unique flora can result in unique characteristics between individuals.
Critical Analysis: I thought that this article was incredibly interesting; I never would have thought of our microbiome playing a role in attracting a partner.
Question: Could safe studies like that done on the mice be pursued in relation to the human microbiome and attraction between partners?