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Category: Brain Maker

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An Important Lesson from The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid

I always look forward to Sunday mornings, and one of the things I like to do each Sunday morning is to write for this website.

And as I was preparing to choose a topic for this week’s blog, the doorbell rang. I was pretty sure who it was because almost every Sunday morning I get a visit from a very pleasant gentleman who is a Jehovah’s Witness. I look forward to our discussions each Sunday as we are very respectful of each other’s opinions.

This morning, when he asked me how my day was going, I told him that I was trying to find a topic that I could write about. At that point, he handed me the monthly Jehovah’s Witness newsletter as he stated, “Perhaps you’ll find something to write about in here.”

Truth be told, I was doubtful I would. But after he left I came back to the computer and glanced at the literature provided. Every month, this newsletter presents an interesting article about some unique characteristic of an animal and asks the question, “What do you think?” Basically, the article is designed to challenge the reader to consider evolution versus divine creation.

Now, to be perfectly clear, the debate between divine creation and evolution is not the purpose of this blog. To be sure, I respect everyone’s opinion. But, as fate would have it, the article I read this morning was entitled “The Light Organ of the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid.” It talks about how the Hawaiian bobtail squid has a symbiotic relationship with bacteria that live upon its skin, allowing the squid to be camouflaged.

The article goes on to state:

The bacteria may also help to regulate the squid sleep-wake pattern. This interests researchers because the bobtail squid may not be the only creature where there is a link between bacteria and circadian cycles, or daily rhythms in activity. In mammals, for example, bacteria that play a role in digestion may also be associated with circadian rhythms. Disturbances of these rhythms have been linked to depression, diabetes, obesity, and sleep disorders.

Having just published Brain Maker, it was pretty intriguing that I would find this information in such an unlikely publication. We are just beginning to recognize the vast interrelationships that exist between the bacteria that lives within us and upon us, and virtually every aspect of our health, longevity, and our ability to resist disease. It is now clear that gut bacteria play a fundamental role in regulating whether we are anxious or depressed or calm and happy. The hundred trillion organisms that live within the gut, the human microbiome, regulate every aspect of our metabolism, as well as such important life sustaining functions as immunity and inflammation. Each of these activities plays a crucial role in keeping the brain healthy, functional, and disease resistant.

I look forward to next Sunday, when my doorbell will surely ring, as I will have the opportunity to express my gratitude to this very sweet and dedicated gentlemen.

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