About Heather Zeiger

Heather is a freelance science writer with an MS in chemistry and an MA in bioethics.

Is It Cheating or Discrimination?

Dutee Chand (Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images)

Sprinter Dutee Chand has been banned from competing in track-and-field because her body produces abnormally high levels of testosterone as reported in The New York Times. asics pas cher Chand is India’s 100-meter, under 18 champion and was an Olympic hopeful, but after an official or a competitor at the Asian Junior Athletics Championships in June requested that Chand be tested for hyperandrogenism, she was pulled from the sport. Chand had won two gold medals at the event. It was found that Chand has a condition which causes her body to produce more testosterone than what is considered the normal range for women. Chand’s case is not unique. Recent studies have shown that hyperandrogenism may be overrepresented among female athletes compared to the general population. Four female athletes were pulled from the 2012 London Olympics and taken to France for testing. mu legend zen for sale buty asics 43 All of them, like Chand, came from rural regions of developing countries. cheap mu Legend zen The London athletes were told to undergo surgery if they wanted to compete. The International Association of Athletics Federations (I.A.A.F.) deemed that Chand cannot compete unless she takes hormone suppressing drugs or has surgery.

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  • Chand is contesting this stating that she should not have to change her body. From a bioethics standpoint, there are several issues that are cause for concern regarding Chand’s case: 1) It is one thing to ban performance enhancers. It is another to require performance “diminishers” to change someone’s natural abilities. 2) Elite athletes are, by definition, not within the range of normal. Why are some genetic abnormalities allowed, but others are not? 3) What is the purpose of sport if it is not to celebrate God-given abilities coupled with training and hard work? Chand has always considered herself a female and for all intents and purposes is female, but her body produces more testosterone than most females do. Her diagnosis of hyperandrogenism does not necessarily mean that she had an additional Y chromosome, as in Klinefelter syndrome, or a segment of a Y chromosome attached to one of her X chromosomes, as in De la Chappelle syndrome. sac a dos fjallraven soldes It just means that her body produces significantly more testosterone. Furthermore, while synthetic testosterone, often taken for doping, confers an unnatural athletic advantage, the science on how naturally produced testosterone caused by hyperandrogenism and some of these other syndromes is still unknown. David Epstein, in his book The Sports Gene, cites Spanish hurdler Maria Jose Martinez-Patino as an example of this. She had De la Chappelle syndrome so her body was producing male levels of testosterone. However, she developed fully female because her body also had androgen insensitivity, which means her body does not respond to testosterone. Hormones, like testosterone, are chemical signals, and in people with androgen insensitivity, their body does not seem to read the signal. Oregon Ducks Her success as a hurdler, Epstein argues, is likely due to something else. Epstein spoke with two endocrinologists who believe that androgen insensitivity is likely overrepresented in both sports and modeling. Even though their bodies do not respond to testosterone, they do seem to exhibit certain physical features. In women with high testosterone but androgen insensitivity, their arms and legs tend to be longer than the average female, and they tend to be a couple of inches taller than average female height. Because they do not respond to testosterone, they are feminine, but this added height and limb length can be an athletic advantage in certain sports. Epstein interviewed Jeff Brown, an endocrinologist who works with top athletes in the U.S., several of whom are Olympic gold medalists. Dr. Brown reports that several of his female athletes have partial 21-hydroxylase deficiency, which is genetically passed down from the parents, and can cause an overproduction of testosterone. mu2legendzen Women with low-level 21-hydroxylase deficiency develop normal ovaries and uterus, but their bodies produce more testosterone. How that testosterone is read by the body is still unclear. mu legend zen As a note, men can have 21-hydroxylase deficiency, but its effects are less dramatic. Interestingly Dr. Brown points out that the endocrine system of elite athletes, in general, differs noticeably from those of most adults. He points out that there are many things about the bodies of elite athletes that are different from most people. This brings up the second issue with Chand’s case. By definition, elite athletes are rare. Once we start talking about the upper echelons of athletic performance, it is often the rare combination of genetics, work ethic, and opportunity that allows an athlete to become elite. buy mu legend zen Consider the example of arm span in the NBA. It is a given that a six-foot male is considered “short” in the NBA. In general, most NBA players are taller than average. But being over six-feet tall is not as rare as having an arm span that is longer than height. This rare trait is overrepresented in the NBA. Normal adults have an arm span that is roughly equivalent to their height. In the NBA, most players have an arm span that is significantly longer than their height. For example, Kevin Durant is 6’9” but has a reported wingspan of 7’4”. LeBron James is 6’7.25” with a wingspan of 7’0.25”. Michael Jordan is 6’6” with a reported wingspan of 6’11.5” (Statistics are from NBA.com and wikiepedia.org). Longer arm span means that these athletes actually have a taller effective height. nike pas cher Pertinent to the topic, NBA players are not asked to do something about their arm span in order to compete in the Olympics or play competitive, professional basketball. One possible exception is Baylor University’s Isaiah Austin.

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  • His basketball career was cut short when pre-draft testing found that he had Marfan syndrome, deeming him ineligible to play basketball competitively. One of the symptoms of Marfan syndrome is tallness and an elongation of arms and fingers due to weak connective tissues in the joints. It also gave Austin a longer wingspan than height, likely giving him an advantage on the court. However, the difference between Austin’s case and Chand’s is that the effects of Marfan syndrome are well-known. Marfan syndrome can endanger an athlete because it affects the heart, eyes, circulatory system, and the skeletal structure. Austin was told that he had an enlarged heart and extreme physical exertion could kill him. Chand’s condition does not pose a known health risk. The NBA is only one example. Genetic aberrations are seen in many other sports, yet these people are not asked to undergo chemical or surgical alterations to conform to certain notions of “normal.” Indeed, in the case of using performance enhancing drugs, which are illegal, the point is to synthetically procure what one was not given naturally. The point is to become “like” someone who is rare so that you can win. Canotta Squadra USA Finally, Chand’s case brings up a larger philosophical question of the purpose of sport. Pierre Coubertin, who was instrumental in re-inventing the modern Olympic movement, considered athletic training part of the cultivation of virtues. He takes a post-Enlightenment, humanist perspective that stems from the pre-modern Judeo-Christian idea that all people are of equal moral worth, although not all are of equal capability. For Coubertin, the point was not winning-at-all-costs, but becoming a better person through discipline, integrity, self-control, hard work, and perseverance. However, given equal training and opportunity, if one athlete has bad knees and the other does not, then the one with better knees will prevail. Coubertin’s perspective would have little to say about an athlete like Chand. Presumably, the emphasis would be on whether she was cultivating a virtuous character. For some, sport is about showing off technological prowess, which is often tied to a sense of nationalism when played on a global stage. Oftentimes, this view does not see using performance enhancers as a problem because it is considered part of training with the best technology possible. The competition is not just between individual athletes, but between countries. The question isn’t which athlete won the gold, but how many gold medals did a particular country receive. The accumulated successes reflect back on the country’s resources, politics, training, and technological capabilities. From this perspective, it is in the competing countries’ interest to make sure that the competitors are homogenous. legend zen for sale This would mean that an athlete like Chand would be excluded because she does not fall within the “norm” and therefore provides one country with an unfair advantage over another. mu legend power leveling Finally, another perspective is that sport is about admiring individual differences and God-given abilities. From this perspective, demanding that an athlete chemically or surgically “normalize” herself would constitute cheating because she would be altering herself from how she was born in a way that is meant to change her athletic performance. Incidentally, using performance enhancing drugs would also be unethical for the same reasons, but rather than attempting to normalize the athlete, those that use PEDs are intentionally trying to make themselves above the norm. This perspective would include Chand in world-class competition. Whether she should compete with men or women is another debate, perhaps one that calls into question some notions of gender segregation in sports. Sports is an age-old social sphere that, in many ways, reflects something about our cultural values. Chand’s body is not within the “norm,” but most elite-level, world-class athletes are not, in one way or another, within the norm either. It is unfortunate that rather than celebrating her distinctive qualities and abilities as a sprinter, she is treated as less-than-adequate for physical qualities that are not under her control.

    What’s So Appealing about Comic Book Movies?

    X-Men: Days of Future Past, directed by Bryan Singer, as of this writing, surpassed its franchise predecessors and grossed over $500 million, which is not far behind 2012’s blockbuster, Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon. Avengers grossed over $600 million. As long as comic book movies keep winning in the box office, Hollywood is happy to indulge. Indeed, Avengers 2: Age of Ultron is set to come out in theaters in May 2015, and X-Men: Apocalypse will come out sometime in 2016. What is it about comic book movies that have such mass appeal? 1) The Obvious: Over-the-top fight-scenes using high-tech graphics all done by super-fit people in tight-fitting outfits (or in the case of Mystique, no outfit) More than mere eye-candy, there is something to the visual component of all of the recent comic book movies. Comics have always been about visual as well as verbal communication, but now the visual is accomplished with striking effects. Consider the high-budget fight scene guaranteed to appear in every comic book movie. The viewer not only sees or reads about the fight, but is able to experience it through the use of camera angles, lighting, and choreography. <Minor Spoiler Alert> For example, in X-Men: Days of Future Past, the scenes in which the future mutants are fighting the sentinels intentionally uses lighting and backdrop to convey despair, while the fight scene between the past mutants and the sentinels, is well-lit and hopeful. 2) The Just: The good guys beat up on the bad guys Human beings have an innate desire to see justice done. mu legend zen for sale The protagonist(s) winning over the antagonist(s) satisfies some deep yearning for cosmic justice. One major theme in comic books is good versus evil. Stan Lee originally wrote Tony Stark (Ironman) to be an unlikable protagonist in the comic books. But, the appeal of the Ironman movies, particularly the first movie, is his redemption and subsequent fight against evil to make things right. 3) The Alien: Mutants are weird, but not too weird One literary device that writers often employ is the “alien” or the “savage”. adidas zx flux store This character is an outsider to the world as we know it that causes us to look beyond ourselves. Sweatshirts It introduces the other. One classic example is the noble savage in Huxley’s Brave New World. He serves to question the infrastructure of the world that all of the other characters find completely normal, and in questioning the fictional world, he is questioning those similar elements in our world. Marvel’s mutants are not aliens, but serve the same purpose of representing the other. A theme in several of the X-Men movies is prejudice and dehumanization. 4) The Myth: Superheroes as modern-day gods It is no secret that there are many parallels between comic book heroes and pagan gods, the writers even going so far as to borrow gods, such as Thor and Loki. Comic book heroes are inhumanly powerful, but with human flaws, making them both relatable and god-like. And, like pagan gods, they can be intimate with humans (Wolverine, The Wolverine), they can hate humans (Magneto), and they can have compassion on humanity (Professor X). Comic book movies appeal to a mass audience because they touch on timeless elements, including, but not limited to its visual appeal. It’s the old story retold in modern trappings.

    Are We Bored Yet? The Apple Watch and New Technologies

    One of the plights of modernity and postmodernity is hyperboredom. louboutin chaussure Maglia James Harden This is not the kind of boredom that comes out of having nothing to do, but the kind of boredom that comes out of having too many options and no way to distinguish which one is better than the other. We are jolted out of this boredom when we encounter disruptive technologies. These are technologies that fundamentally change a particular market and have an impact on our culture. Kelvin Benjamin Panthers Jersey According to Ian Bogost, Apple is a company that is as much in the business of shaking us out of our routine with disruptive technologies as it is in the business of manufacturing them. Adidas Zx Flux Femme Blanche This may explain why people flock to Apple’s announcements (either virtually, or in person) with a big-tent revival fervor in hopes of seeing what groundbreaking new technology Apple has in store for us. Kanken No.2 For a brief moment, the hyperbordom is replaced with anticipation and excitement over the possibility that the multitude of options will become passé to be replaced by that one technology that supersedes all of them. Take, for example, Steve Jobs’ announcement in January, 2007 of this little gadget called the iPhone. He knew the implications of this device and where it stood in the grand scheme of things: (Quoted from “How Apple Introduced the iPhone” in The Atlantic):

    This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for two-and-a-half years. Victor Cruz Jersey Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes around that changes everything and Apple has been—well, first of all, one is very fortunate if you get to work on just one of these in your career—Apple has been very fortunate. It’s been able to introduce a few of these into the world. Maglie Chicago Bulls In 1984, we introduced the Macintosh. Goedkoop Nike Air Max 2016 It didn’t just change Apple. It changed the whole computer industry. In 2001, we introduced the first iPod. It didn’t just change the way we all listen to music, it changed the entire music industry. Well, today, we’re introducing three revolutionary products of this class. The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. Asics Gel Kayano Evo Homme The second is a revolutionary mobile phone. New Balance 997 damskie And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device. Nike Lebron An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator. Nike Air Max 2016 Heren grijs These are not three separate devices. New Balance 446 femme This is one device. And we are calling it iPhone. adidas yeezy boost 350 v2 damskie Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.(emphasis added)

    Since then, every time Apple unveils a new iPhone, people flock to stores in anxious anticipation, some of them going so far as to sleep outside the Apple store’s doors in hopes of being the first to get the latest and best that Apple has to offer. Air Jordan 3 Donna And, it does not seem to be slowing down. Nike Air Max 2017 Dames wit

    Sales for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus broke last year’s record, selling ten million phones last weekend, an opening weekend that was strategically timed to ensure that there will be visions of iPhones dancing in everyone’s head by December. So with such excitement and Apple’s track record of disruptive technology, what happened with the Apple Watch?* Apple had not released a new device in four years. This was to be the next device after the death of Steve Jobs that shows Apple is still changing markets. However, rather than the fanfare of groundbreaking technology, the Apple Watch was met with mixed reactions.. NIKE ZOOM ALL OUT Los Angeles Clippers In his article “Future Ennui” Ian Bogost says that the problem is not the technology itself, but the burden that comes with it.

  • We have become bored of the constant barrage of groundbreaking technologies. adidas donna He compares it to Google’s innovations,

    Unlike its competitor Google, with its eyeglass wearables and delivery drones and autonomous cars, Apple’s products are reasonable and expected—prosaic even, despite their refined design. AIR ZOOM STRUCTURE 20

    Google’s future is truly science fictional, whereas Apple’s is mostly foreseeable. You can imagine wearing Apple Watch, in no small part because you remember thinking that you could imagine carrying Apple’s iPhone—and then you did, and now you always do.

    Bogost may be giving Google too much of a pass, though. The Google Glass has sparked some controversy among those paranoid of being filmed by its wearers.

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  • Perhaps the difference between Google’s innovations and Apple’s innovations can be compared to the difference between reading Isaac Asimov and Margaret Atwood. Asimov writes about robots and artificial intelligence, and even explores some of the ways that this technology can go awry, but Asimov’s stories do not come with a sense of prophetic inevitability that Atwood’s do. Atwood writes speculative fiction, not science fiction (See Atwood’s book In Other Worlds). Atwood’s stories, like her recent Madd Adam trilogy, are disconcerting because they are a little too plausible. Air Jordan 11 Donna

    Maglia Scottie Pippen Rather than something that may be fifty years from now, her books describe a near-future in which technologies that are already in place are ratcheted up. Similarly, while people will likely not drive automatic cars in the next ten years, it is much more likely that they will be wearing technology that is collecting data on all of their bodily process, purchases, and locations in the next two years. While the fervor over the iPhone 6 hit record levels, perhaps the mixed response to the Apple Watch signifies that we are tempering our enthusiasm over internet-in-our-pocket technologies. Madison Bumgarner Authentic Jersey Clive Thompson, quoted in an in an opinion piece in the New York Times, says that our attitudes toward technology follows a predictable pattern, “We are so intoxicated by it, and then there’s a fairly predictable curve of us recognizing as a society that this is untenable, and we’re acting like freaks.” Thompson is an optimistic writer on technology who believes that there are many benefits to the kind of community interactions that are possible with the internet. Rather than focusing on the doom-and-gloom of the here-and-now, Thompson takes a broader, historical perspective, reminding us, in an interview with The New Yorker that we have been through this before,

    We have a long track record of adapting to the challenges of new technologies and new media, and of figuring out self-control…More recently, we tamed our addition [sic] to talking incessantly on mobile phones. People forget this, but when mobile phones came along, in the nineties, people were so captivated by the idea that you could talk to someone else—anywhere—on the sidewalk, on a mountaintop—that they answered them every single time they rang. It took ten years, and a ton of quite useful scrutiny—and mockery of our own poor behavior—to pull back.

    Indeed, studies on cell phone addiction and parents neglecting their children and state laws addressing car accident deaths because people cannot pull away from their cell phones are all indications that we are becoming keenly aware that we might be acting like “freaks.” While disruptive technologies may also disrupt our postmodern malaise, there does come a point when we become weary of the constant announcements of the next-big-tech. nike air max 1 essential uomo Bogost’s article is compelling because he touches on this very notion. nike bianche alte zalando Once there are too many next-big-tech options available, the hyperboredom of modernity and postmodernity sets in.

    What Does Death Have to Do with Having a Happy Holidays?

    Two Christmas stories that have stood the test of time are Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. Nick Chubb UGA Jersey Both stories invite the main character to suppose he were dead. In A Christmas Carol, the ghost of Christmas future asks Scrooge to look at how people will talk about him once he has died. In It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey is taken to an alternative world in which he sees how things in his town would be different had he never lived. nike free run swarovski Additionally, both main characters must look into the face of death, confronting their own mortality, before they are ready to see that their problems originate in their own hearts. New Balance 996 femme In A Christmas Carol, before Scrooge faces his own death, he encounters Marley’s ghost who warns Scrooge that if he continues in this path, he will end up like Marley, chained to his idol. adidas schoenen In It’s a Wonderful Life, George sinks into such deep despair that he ends up standing on the edge of the bridge considering suicide, but instead rescues another jumper from the bridge. Incidentally, the other jumper was Clarence who, similar to Marley, was once alive but now is dead, and whose mission is to help George live a better life. Nike Air Max 95 Homme Florida Gulf Coast Eagles Scrooge and George Bailey are vastly different characters, yet both are miserable because of the same seed of discontent growing within them, and both are cured through similar means. Interestingly, what is different about George Bailey and Ebenezer Scrooge is telling. nike free run 3.0 homme Scrooge is the lonely wealthy man who seeks to rob others of joy because he cannot feel it himself. George is the sympathetic family man who begrudges his tender-heartedness because it has left him poor and stagnant.

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  • Both the rich man and the poor man struggle with discontent, and both the rich man and the poor man believe that money is the key to their happiness. kobe 9 cheap Fjallraven Kanken Classic Both men are plagued by the same disease, discontent. chaussure homme louboutin Canotte NBA a Poco Prezzo When a person is discontent in poverty, he does not see the mercies and blessings he has been given, but only his lack. Nike Air Max 95 Puritan writer, Thomas Watson, points out that a man who is discontent in this estate will think even bitter things taste sweet. We see this when George Bailey considers compromising his standards and partnering with Mr. Canotte Memphis Grizzlies Potter, the town tyrant. Air Max 1 Pas Cher

    Jordan 12 Sale When a person is discontent in wealth, he can never accumulate enough to satisfy his true needs. adidas gazelle homme grise Nike Free Run +3 Scrooge hoarded his wealth as a kind of security. Canotte Sacramento Kings

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  • By the end of the story Scrooge and George Bailey are not in a different place than they were when they faced their supernatural reminders of their mortality. AIR MAX THEA ULTRA FLYKNIT

    Canotte Chicago Bulls Yes, George got the lost money back, but his town didn’t change, his house still had the broken bannister, and he still had four children to feed. Air Jordan 12 Homme New Balance 009 mujer Scrooge still lived in the same dark house and Bob Cratchit was still his employee. new balance 530 femme What changed was their state of mind. And that is the lesson. New Balance France Contentment is a state of mind, not some perfect combination of annual income, a home’s square footage, stock investments, luxury car, or vacation experiences. Nike Roshe Run Femme Porté Andrew Luck – Stanford Cardinal George Bailey and Ebenezer Scrooge may not be characters in our time and place, but their lesson applies now as it did then. louboutin pas cher Ours is a culture that thrives on us never having enough. There are noble things that we should not be content to endure, like children dying from leukemia, or grandparents whose mind has been ravaged by Alzheimer’s, or diseases that destroy the body and injuries that result in loss of function. 2015 new balance 530 However, wanting to rid the world of innocent suffering is not the kind of discontent that haunted George Bailey or Ebenezer Scrooge and it is not the kind of discontent that is endemic in our own time. Nike Air Max 2017 Heren Ours is a discontent that says “You deserve the best.” It is a discontent that comes from a sense of entitlement and a lack of thankfulness. Adidas Superstar Homme AIR ZOOM STRUCTURE 20 Many people blame our cultural sense of discontent on commercials that tell us that you will be happier driving a particular car or technology industries selling newer and better products before the warranty is out on your old one or magazines with air-brushed models sporting impossibly perfect bodies. Adidas Shop van Nederland

  • nike air max 1 pas cher But George Bailey and Ebenezer Scrooge didn’t have Cadillacs, iPhone 6s, or Photoshop. Scott Kazmir Jersey These industries are not the problem; they just make a profit from it. Asics Homme new balance 574 sonic femme bordeaux Kanken Pas Cher The problem is as old as human nature. Asics Gel Lyte 5 damskie We are dissatisfied with what we have and instead of addressing the root of our dissatisfaction, we would rather strive for more and more like Scrooge, or sink into despair like George Bailey.

    Mortifying Reality TV

    Ever since COPS aired in 1989, the reality TV professional niche genre has found a willing following. Asics Gel Kayano Evo Homme Even among the television connoisseurs, reality TV shows that follow a particular profession seem a bit more high-brow than makeovers, contests, match-making, or group living situations. You are able to see what it is like for those who work in a particular profession, and often viewers gain a greater respect for the particular difficulties that those professions face. Notable professional reality TV shows are New York Med, which is a recent addition to professional reality TV that has received positive reviews. Nike Air Max 2016 Femme Ace of Cakes was a Food Network success that ran for ten seasons, documenting what it is like to work in the high-pressure world of the novelty cake business. asics gel noosa donna Deadliest Catch documented the exciting life of crab catchers and ran for ten seasons on the Discovery Channel. One profession that has garnered some interest in the reality TV world is the mortuary business. Lifetime announced that it would be airing a new reality TV show called “Good Grief” which follows twin brothers and one of their wives as they run the Johnson Family Mortuary in Ft. Parajumpers Femme Harraseeket Worth. Other shows about the mortuary business include A&E’s “Family Plots” about Poway Bernardo Mortuary in California and TLC’s “Best Funeral Ever” about the Golden Gate Funeral Home in Dallas. Asics Gel Lyte 5 Femme Rose “Good Grief” was scheduled to air on July 23 with the TV description:

    Take a step deep into the heart of Texas with the Johnson Family Mortuary! You’ve never seen a family funeral business like this one – full of spice and soul. Chaussures louboutin Rachel runs the family business alongside her husband Dondre and his twin Derrick, together known as the “Undertaker Twins,” who bring the life to the business of death. adidas zx 500 femme Working with family is never easy with drama, fights and forgiveness, but with the Johnsons, death has never been so lively.

    Such a description may seem a little creepily flippant about a somber subject, and may say something about our culture that even death and funeral arrangements can become fodder for prime time TV. However, lest we judge what our culture has come to too hastily, the reason why the show was cancelled is even more disturbing. Asics Gel Lyte 5 Femme Rouge “Good Grief” was set to air on July 23. Lifetime dropped the show after the owners were evicted from the building where the mortuary was run, and authorities found eight decaying bodies inside. Dondre and Rachel were charged with seven counts of abuse of a corpse. Derrick claims that he had severed ties with the mortuary, and was not involved in the negligence. asics gel stratus homme The details of what the police uncovered can be found here, but brace yourself because it is not for the faint of heart.

    Creepy Critters in Our Gut

    What is the microbiome? The microbiome is the bacteria that reside within and on our bodies. Often these bacteria do more than just hang out with us. Nike kyrie 2

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  • However, those goals may need to be adjusted. The Human Microbiome studies have revealed two things: 1) no two human microbiomes are alike, and 2) the microbiome is dynamic. Because each person has a unique microbiome, there is not a gold-standard, “healthy” microbiome by which to compare “diseased” microbiomes. Also, because the gut biome changes with diet and environment, it is difficult to determine a particular signature for a person. Womens Nike Air Max 2016

    It’s composition is just too dynamic. Asics Mexico m?skie Additionally, the microbiome’s composition (the types of bacteria that make up the biome) are different at different times depending on the individual’s diet and environment.

  • This is especially true with the gut biome. There are hundreds of different species of bacteria that could potentially live in our digestive system, and those species may be in different abundances at different times. Furthermore, sometimes studying two different parts of the same sample will show different results. This is a classic sampling problem. Imagine that you wanted to find the amount of lead in soil in a field. Jameis Winston – Florida State Seminoles You could collect soil from the top of the ground, which might give you a different lead concentration than if you took soil that was one foot underground or you might get different results if you took samples that were 100 feet away from each other. The gut biome has a similar problem. new balance grigie bambino nike air max 95 donna Apparently, the biome composition is different depending on where in the digestive tract you retrieve the bacteria (e.g., from a fecal sample or from the small intestines). Canotte Los Angeles Lakers With these caveats, scientists have still observed some trends. Air Jordan 7 Uomo For one, an individual’s gut biome changes after taking antibiotics. This makes sense because antibiotics are meant to kill bacteria. Soldes Nike Pas Cher 2017 nike air max pas cher What is unclear is how long the changes persist and how this affects a person’s health.

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  • Scientists also know that the gut biome plays a role in aiding digestion of certain hard-to-digest foods, such as carbohydrates. Furthermore, they have found differences between the gut biomes of obese people and non-obese people and between people with digestive diseases, such as Crohn’s disease. However, whether the different gut biome is the cause or is the result is unclear. Healthy skepticism There are several other correlations between the microbiome and physiological effects.

  • The difficulty is whether these are merely correlations or causation. William Hanage has an excellent article in Nature, “Microbiology: Microbiome Science Needs a Healthy Dose of Skepticism” in which he discusses five key questions to help discern the truth from the hype:

    1. Can experiments detect differences that matter?
    2. Does the study show causation or just correlation?
    3. What is the mechanism?
    4. How much do experiments really reflect reality?
    5. Could anything else explain the results?

    Many studies show that the gut biome is very responsive to diet and environment, which means the differences we see in people with a certain disease (or condition) may be the gut responding to the disease rather than causing it. Nike Air Max Pas Cher The gut biome is a new area of research that may shed some light on digestive disorders and the effects of antibiotics on the body.

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  • However, Hanage cautions us to not fall into the same kind of non-discretionary, cure-all thinking that we’ve seen in other new areas of science such as the Human Genome Project, stem cell research, genetic engineering, or nanotechnology. He also remind us not to blame the microbiome for all of our ills: “In pre-scientific times when something happened that people did not understand, they blamed it on spirits.