Friday, June 29, 2007

Intestinal Microbiota

After sending in another disability application, and now waiting for them to reject it, I can now direct that energy elsewhere, like more blogging perhaps. I tried somewhat to avoid ranting about lameness but everything I thought to blog about was a rant. So if you do not want to read rantings about doctors, you might want to check back in in a few months.

On another note, I found this very cool set of open access scientific and medical journals when I read this article on a yummy topic, Digging in Diapers For History of Gut Bacteria, linked from Google Health News. The research article, Development of the Human Infant Intestinal Microbiota, is authored by a group of Stanford medical researchers, and browsing the other articles shows that many of them are authored by researchers from esteemed institutions such as Stanford, UCSF, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins. So this appears not to be just some dinky Internet journal.

Under the open access license, people are free to copy, distribute, and even make commercial use of the work, if proper citation is given. Wow, so I can copy large chunks of the articles into my blog and not break any rules.... Indeed, more people will read, and critique, and generate more ideas.

On the topic of gut bacteria..., I found this related article, Children May Breathe Easier If Antibiotics Are Avoided In Infancy, interesting.

Rural kids had less of a chance of developing asthma than urban children, overall. The researchers speculate that this may have to do with the differing microbes that colonize the guts of city and rural children as well as country kids' wider exposure to a variety of microorganisms. "Evidence for this hypothesis comes from epidemiologic studies, which link variations in gastrointestinal microflora and probiotic administration with less allergy and asthma," Kozyrskyj says.
And since I like to relate things that most people don't relate, I think this could be related to this interesting new finding that the gender ratio of people with chronic fatigue syndrome is strikingly different among people who live in large metropolitan areas, smaller urban areas, and rural areas. This is another open access article from a different journal:

Prevalence of chronic fatigue syndrome in metropolitan, urban, and rural Georgia

There were significant differences in female-to-male ratios of prevalence across the strata (metropolitan female: male 11.2 : 1, urban 1.7 : 1, rural 0.8 : 1).
The study also found that 2.5% of the population meets the definition of chronic fatigue syndrome, which is 6-10 times higher that previously found.

Perhaps I need to eat some dirt.