Saturday, April 23, 2011
You probably know your blood type, but do you know your bug type?
In the early 1900s, scientists discovered that each person belonged to one of four blood types. Now they have discovered a new way to classify humanity: by bacteria. Each human being is host to thousands of different species of microbes. Yet a group of scientists now report just three distinct ecosystems in the guts of people they have studied.
Blood type, meet bug type.
“It’s an important advance,” said Rob Knight, a biologist at the University of Colorado, who was not involved in the research. “It’s the first indication that human gut ecosystems may fall into distinct types.”
It seems to me on the basis of no knowledge whatsoever that this discovery could have important therapeutic knock-on effects. Or not. Any microbiologists out there who want to give it a shot?