Over many, many years, bacteria has been scrutinized and persecuted for causing the development of thousands of diseases and ailments in people, but what do we actually know about these microbes that seem to cover everything at all times? Recent research shows that we actually don’t know a whole lot about when we look at the leaps and bounds we took to disinfect and cleanse nearly everything we own.
In a research project entitled the Human Microbiome Project (much akin to the Human Genome Project of great relevance), researchers show that bacteria and microbial bodies are actually much more beneficial than they will ever be detrimental. Not only do bacteria keep people alive and healthful by helping to strengthen the immune system, but they also explain in a broad sense why people are so different when it comes to vaccinations and diseases.
The research has been conducted between 200 scientists at 80 different institutions in order to gain a better understanding of the microscopic world and livelihood of the bacteria in relation to the human body and its systems. The project analyzed the genetic material of bacteria from around 250 healthy people; the results came as a bit of a surprise, finding as many as a thousand different strains per person, and that many of even the disease carrying bacteria coexist normally with millions of other bacteria.
This gives us a very broad understanding of why some individuals are more susceptible to infections and disease and why others are nearly invincible to the same disease-causers. It is also probable that these many millions of microorganisms may contribute to a wide array of conditions like asthma and even obesity. The research was released last Wednesday, and promises great change coming to the research playing field.
Originally, bacteria were seen as a passive presence on all of our persons at any given time, essentially harmless and doing almost nothing to interfere with our functionality. This research provides us with the fact that these microbes are essential to our well being, and generally speaking promote good health among us all.
It is a great mystery why these essential little buddies were so understudied, with scientists knowing very little about them for an extended period of time. Allegedly, when bacteria and microbes were actually studied, they were done so in a largely unnatural environment, leaving the bacteria to act differently than they would under normative circumstances. The research has only recently reached prominence, with new methods and techniques to sustain the study of microscopic organisms.
Until we gain a broader scope of understanding these little ‘machines’, you can rest assured that they are mostly harmless and in fact are quite beneficial to your health. If you are a bacteriaphobe keeping things around you almost constantly disinfected, you may very well be putting yourself at greater risk with all of the harsh chemicals being used to maintain that cleanliness.