Talking about the microbiota is fashionable. If we take into account what is published, commented or seen in the Media, the microbes that inhabit our bodies seem to be responsible for practically everything that happens to us in life.

Our microbiome would set the pace and turn us into thin or fat, tall or short, blond or brown, intelligent or not so intelligent, shy, depressive, euphoric and countless other things. Of realities, myths and fallacies of our microbiota I will speak in the fourth edition of the course “Science, pseudoscience and magical thought”, next July at the University of Burgos.

It is very reassuring that we can blame everything that happens to us, physiologically speaking, to our microbiota, isn’t it? According to many of the news we hear or see, that almost kilogram of weight (for others, half a kilogram) that the microbes that make up our microbiota suppose are those that modulate our body and even our mind.

Those billions or trillions of microbial cells that live, above all, in our digestive system and that are in a proportion of almost 1.5 cells for each one of our human cells, seem to be responsible for everything, whether we are thin or fat, tall or short, blond or brown, intelligent or not so intelligent, shy, depressive, euphoric and an endless list of other things. Perhaps they also modulate our amorous and erotic behaviors… Who knows?

We imagine that this high number of microorganisms with numerous and diverse genomes (microbiome) would have the capacity to govern our metabolism or, at least, to act as modulators or coordinators of the different physiological functions of our body. It gives the sensation that we are puppets of the destiny that our microbiome marks us!

But… Do we have proof to say this? Or are they mere speculations based on laboratory studies that have not yet been tested in clinical trials? I leave these questions in the air. I am not going to reveal the content of my talk yet. I promise that after the course I will write in MikroSfera an entry addressing the most important points of it.

In this way, we will be able to discuss a little with those who have not been able to attend the course and are interested in knowing a little about our relationship, synergistic, sometimes conflictive, at other times, with our own micro self.

To the impatient I recommend reading the book Microbiota (Los microbios de tu organismo) by our colleague and friend Ignacio López Goñi author of the blog El rincón de Pasteur.
Guillermo Quindos in Zientzia Club from UPV/EHU on Vimeo.

The fourth edition of the course Science, pseudoscience and magical thinking will be held on 8, 9 and 10 July at the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences of the University of Burgos (UBU). For three days, nine specialists will analyze the rise of pseudoscience and what the role of scientists, politicians and journalists should be to limit the damage caused by these tricks.