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Mapping the Human Microbiome – A New Museum Exhibit

November 23, 2015

The awareness of the role of our resident microbes just seems to be exploding. I’ve recently learned that the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City has just opened an exhibit called The Secret World Inside You that is dedicated to the incredibly important role the vast array of microbes (the microbiome) living within each and every one of us plays in our health.

The focus of the exhibit seems to be dedicated to the notion that we are each an actual interdependent “ecosystem.” This is certainly a new way of thinking about the human body.

The descriptions of the exhibit indicate that it is quite revealing in terms of correlating the human microbiome with things like immune function, detoxification, and regulating metabolism, using animations and other visual presentations. Can’t wait!

I’m looking forward to visiting this production, especially the 14-foot long interactive table that apparently allows visitors to learn about the functions of individual species of microbes.

What is perhaps most surprising in the descriptions of this exhibit is having the visitors participate in a card game that challenges them to build the most robust and diverse microbiome possible. Variables that can affect the outcome of the game include antibiotics, kissing, and even fecal transplantation.

The science surrounding the human microbiome is expanding at in incredible rate. And now this information is truly becoming front and center in popular formats so that all of us can get up to speed on this important new paradigm.

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