Overselling the microbiome award: Scientists look to mummies for obesity cure

Seriously?  Scientists look to mummies for obesity cure.  I mean – yes – I do think it is possible that antibiotic use has screwed up the human microbiome across the planet and that might have led to other problems.  But for 3$&#$# sake there are 1,000,000 plus other things that have changed since the time of the mummies from diet, to pollution, to longevity, to urbanization, to sedentariness, to TV, to … well … almost everything.  So – sure – the microbiome in “the ancients” might be different (I don’t see a paper here).  But the headlong “look for mummies for obesity cure” is pretty darn misleading.  And thus I am giving MSN one of my coveted “Overselling the microbiome” awards.

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About Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

One thought on “Overselling the microbiome award: Scientists look to mummies for obesity cure

  1. Yeah, the ancient Egyptian diet was based on bread, onions, and beer. Of course mummies are generally from the upper classes, which probably had more meat than the peasants, but still they had a carbohydrate-rich and protein poor diet.

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