Can’t see the forest for the microbes

  Cryotube-wielding scientists are the latest in a long line of researchers studying hunter-gatherer groups throughout the world that seek balance between the prying nature of research and the rights and respect of indigenous cultures. In a timely discussion, Dominguez-Bello and others[1] foretell of a future where mining the microbial richness of native peoples is…

The Human Microbiome as Road Kill in the Age of the Anthropocene

  With the world entering a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – the idea that we now live in a very different world than the one our not-so-distant ancestors inhabited, has never been truer. But amidst global deforestation, melting ice sheets, and general biosphere degradation, perhaps the human microbiome – the collection of our…

Please Pass the Microbes

A few days ago I accompanied two Hadza hunters to a series of seeps or springs where they had set up hunting blinds of tall grass to ambush thirsty animals. It’s late dry season in Tanzania and dwindling water sources force otherwise dispersed animals to aggregate, and if you’re a hunter-gatherer, this is a good…