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Today's encore selection -- from "Microbiomics: The Next Big Thing?" by Lisa J. Bain. It is estimated that we each have 10 trillion of our own cells, accompanied by an even greater 100 trillion "good" bacterial cells. These bacterial cells, along with assorted viruses, fungi and other microbes, collectively constitute what is often referred to as the microbiome. Researchers now believe the microbiome is essential for the proper functioning of the body -- and that antibiotics often deplete the microbiome, impairing body function and causing maladies:
"Although it may sound weird, unappealing, even disgusting, fecal transplantation has piqued the interest of gastroenterologists and infectious disease specialists around the world. Meanwhile, patients suffering from severe diarrhea are demanding the procedure and the FDA has weighed in with restrictions on how this 'unapproved therapy' can be delivered.