आफ्नो शरीर लाई पनि बुज्नेकि? हेर्नुस् हाम्रो स्वस्थ शरीरमा वास्तवमा कती Bactaria हरु हुन्छन
“I do not see myself as a lone entity anymore,” Susan Perkins said at a press conference at the American Museum of Natural History yesterday morning. “I have crossed that line. I am an ecosystem.”Perkins has a handy definition for the gargantuan number of microorganisms in our bodies at a given time. “‘Microbiome’ is a term to describe either all the organisms that live in or on us, or it’s also sometimes used to talk about genes,” she explained. “We have about 20,000 human genes in our genomes, but hundreds of thousands of microbial genes. So they really are affecting how we look, how we behave and who we are.” She went on by putting our vast internal makeup into perspective: “We have anywhere from between 30 trillion and 400 trillion cells living within us at any given time.”
Bacteria, beneficial and harmful, make up you and everyone around you. The exhibit cleanly conveys the ways these organisms affect our health, but DeSalle agreed that it’s a field still in its infancy. “The paradigm shift is really toward understanding the ecology of the microbes that live in and on us,” he said. “In some ways we’re kind of like the explorers of the Amazon 150 to 200 years ago. We’re exploring the microbiome and discovering things that are just amazing about biodiversity, and we’re also rapidly using the information to apply it to medicine.” He concluded: “Knowledge about the microbiome and the ecology that resides in this microbiome is essential to fine-tuning human health.”
The Secret World Inside You will take visitors on a tour of the human body, making stops at places where microbes thrive: your skin—which, covering about 20 square feet, is your largest organ—and your mouth and your gastrointestinal tract, which is home to your body’s densest and most diverse microbial community, among others.
The exhibition also will explore where our microbiomes come from. Most babies encounter their first big batch of microbes during birth, when they are coated with microbes from the mother’s birth canal, or, if born by caesarean section, from the skin of their mother, doctors, and others who touch them. New work also has shown that breast milk, in addition to providing nutrition for the baby, contains complex carbohydrates that cannot be digested by infants but are readily consumed by the dominant species of bacteria in the infant microbiome—evidence that we coevolved to live with these organisms.
How do your interactions with microbes—from the type of environment where you grew up to the number of times you have taken an antibiotic, which destroys both bad and good bacteria—influence your health? In what ways can your microbiome be said to be its own organ? And is it possible that the state of the bacteria in your gut plays a role in your mental health?
The Secret World Inside You will explore these intriguing questions and more with interactive activities, videos, and a live theater where a presenter will show visitors how scientists are navigating this exciting new field of research.
The Secret World Inside You is co-curated by Susan Perkins and Rob DeSalle, curators in the Museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology and the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics. The exhibition will be open to the public from November 7, 2015, to August 14, 2016.
Generous support for The Secret World Inside You and its educational resources have been provided by the Paul and Irma Milstein Foundation and the Milstein Family.
The Secret World Inside You is proudly supported by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.
The Secret World Inside You is supported by the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).