Macro Implications Of The Microbiome [Functional Forum]

Macro Implications Of The Microbiome  [Functional Forum]

Thank you for tuning in, those here in the
flesh, as well as those who are virtually connected. I’m kind of blown away by this
topic. In fact, as James knows, it took me quite a long time to get him the slides. I
didn’t get to him on time and it has a lot to do with the implications that we’re going
to be talking about tonight. First of all, when we talk about the microbiome
it’s really a very distracting term because when you really think about the implications
of the discovery that were primarily microbial, it really blows your mind and it leads to
almost a cosmic kind of implication so that’s why the title of the talk today is on the
implications of the microbiome for, so macro topics. So one might ask, “What does someone like
myself with no particular training in science and sort of microbiome be talking about such
a topic?” I happen to have spent some time in college
studying philosophy, and certainly the question of “Why life is a big part of why I feel
obligated to look deep into this topic?” But, I am actually the microbiome as you are.
So that’s my primary qualification. This image is very instructive because that’s
the Milky Way Galaxy within which we are presently on this little spec called the earth and so
that you are here is very literal in fact. So basically, there about 400 billion stars
in our galaxy and that’s less than the number of microbes that have been identified in the
human microbiome. So, it’s a really profound image because it does reflect back to what
essentially we are. At the top right, is actually the solar system
moving to space. It looks very much like a bacteria and it’s flagellate projecting
it forward. So, there are these metaphors or recurrent phenomena that again speak to
the tie between the cosmic and the sort of microscopic. So, I’m a big fan of this metaphor of the
global brain because in part we’re, all right now, being connected through it. Through
the internet. And, a lot of what I know today is because I happen to be fixated on Medline,
which some of you know is a bibliographic database produced through the National Library
of Medicine through our taxpayer money primarily, which contains about 23 million citations
now in biomedicine and life sciences. I spent literally years in front of a computer to
some physiological detriment, my eyes for example, just in my brain being ray-heated
by the LCD, trying to figure out, what does the research say about different topics. What
is so fascinating to me, first of all, is that global brain represents 23 million years
of scientific labor as far as alone. That’s like the medical convolution of the
global brain so it’s an incredible resource. Use it like Google, any question you have
in to and see what you retrieve. When it comes to microbiome, when I was born
in ’72, there was one study that was published that’s indexable right now for that year
in Medline. And, then suddenly, you see in 2000 sort of an exponential jump to ‘78
and just last year, there were about 5,400 so you see this like inflection of the curve
that occurred right in 2000. So we have a very interesting phenomena going on which
is the explosion of data, of course. Almost overnight. And, it’s very analogous to the
discovery of the Quantum of Action in 1900 which launched the Microphysics Revolution,
the quantum mechanics and the implications of that are so profound as far as our knowledge
and technology. So, I believe that we have sort of passed
through event horizon so that we really can’t go back like what James is speaking to earlier
is so profound. I believe that when you look at the object of biomedicine today, we still
have this very cadaver-like notion of what the human body is and how we are going to
orient ourselves to it. And, what’s basically happened is that we now have all the published
literature, all the extent literature on the body de-validated because it didn’t account
for the so-called holobiont, which we are. Which is of course our own genome and all
of the genetic contributions of every single microbe that populates us. So approximately
4.5 million genes in the microbiome and those are protein coding genes, is far more genetic
information in the Dark Matter, the RNA versus the 23,000 approximately protein coding genes
in the human body. So, you can see that the subject and object of medicine have completely
been transformed and that a lot of the interventions from antibiotics to vaccination, to even radiating
people with diagnostic technologies are no longer evidence-based. There’s no way to
really say that they are safe. It’s very much like transitioning from flat
universe sort of flat earth concept. Basically, if you really think about what the body is,
in this realm of the great object it is truly a piece of flesh, right? It’s just basically
a piece of meat and what we’re seeing happening is with the discovery of the gut flora, there
is a shift to accepting that we’re not here alone and there are about two to three pounds
in the gut of bacteria and viruses and fungi and other elements. So, then we shifted to
an appreciation that it’s sort of like going from the geocentric to the heliocentric models
of the universe, is that suddenly, we see an explosion of our identity as sort of a
collapse of the ego as far as identifying what is human, what is not and the interdependence.
So, this is a very profound transition. The old narrative, of course is that there’s
the tree of life and there’s the sort of very slow glacial phase of evolution, because
of course the whole notion is that the code for life and evolution was locked within the
nucleus of the cell? But, this can no longer be maintained because when the Hologenome
Theory of Evolution was introduced in 1994, basically, that opened up this understanding
that throughout evolution there’s been exchanging of genetic material. So no longer a bacteria
way down here and mammal’s way up here and there’s a sort of promiscuity that is apparent
that is going to basically devalidate this whole narrative. As many of you may know, the Holy Grail again
was to identify the primary sequence of genes in the DNA. The protein coding genes which
we know are now only about 2% in number, when looking at the total number of genes present.
And, in 2005 when that first draft was completed, they basically said, “Wow, we can’t even
explain the proteins in the human body. There’s at least a hundred thousand.” But, we have
23,000 protein coding genes obviously, there’s no longer any validity to the notion that
we can figure out life and even existence of our body through that optic. So, this basically
gave rise to the post-genomic era, which has a correlate as far as the sort of existential
condition of our species. Because, the thing about the dream of biomedicine is that it’s
in some way reassuring that we’re just hunks of flesh and that there basically is in appreciation
for fatalism built in to things like we don’t have control, of course. Our genes are inherited
from our predecessors and it takes hundreds of thousands of years for them to change.
So, there’s a sort of nihilism and fatalism applied by this model. As we shift to the post-genomic era, people
like Bruce Lipton, they popped out of nowhere, The Biology of Belief, I’m sure many of you
know this title. It’s just so profound to think that our choices, our volition, our
thoughts, perceptions can gear from the coat top down into our physiology affect gene expression.
So, the epigenetic revolution was launched in order to try to understand this deficit
that we can’t even understand how our body plan was created so we have to look beyond
the gene to the epigenetic factors. So that was a big change. One of the discoveries of course around the
same time is the microbial infrastructure of the human genome. The fact that about 8%
of our genome sequences are from retroviruses and the same family as H.I.V. definitely changes,
of course the germ theory when it comes to viruses or just these evil lethal factors
outside of us we need to vaccinate against. Then there’s an appreciation for all the
other elements within our genome. Basically, almost it’s like this proliferation of jumping
genes and these retroposon said are basically like viruses just completely floating around
reproducing, doing something important. The discovery, of course, of the mitochondrial
DNA which is profound. Lynn Margulis, who was a co-developer of the
Gaia Hypothesis, (we’ll be talking about in a minute) she was one of the individuals
to basically flesh out this concept of Endosymbiosis. Which is that the mitochondria which power
our cells actually are byproduct of some agent bacteria entering into the sort of proto-eukaryotic
cell and becoming one entity. And, it’s revealed really powerful things about our
origins. One of them, of course, is that our very infrastructure energetically requires
other germs to operate. Again, totally decomposes that model of the evil germs. The Virome, that’s the set of chronic infections,
viruses that are within your body like herpes family viruses even HPV-related viruses that
actually serve fundamental functions in helping to mediate the genes and the environment through
altering the phenotype or the expression of those same three billion base pair genes into
something useful that interacting with the environment. So a herpes family virus infection
can confer great benefits against other bacterial infections or reduce the risks, or directly
help the immune system fight tumors. So for me, this is another one of those profound
discoveries that is concomitant with the revolution that I think we are right now immersed in. This is attributed to Darwin, it’s not proven
that he actually stated it in these terms but I really love this quote. “It’s not
the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most
adaptable to change.” That’s really part of what we’re learning
about again. The microbial basis for our existence in life, in general, is that it’s about
resilience conferred by the plasticity really offered by this commensal relationship. We
have such a vast resource to draw from within the microbiome to respond in real time, to
changes in our environment, pathogens, new nutrient sources that would be indigestible
based on our soluble primary DNA. I think this also speaks again to a different
ethos or morality or world view which I think, is again, a big part of the implication of
the microbiome revolution is that we’re entering into a new appreciation for interconnectedness
and then this also speaks to an ontologically grounded ethics which I hope I can conclude
this discussion with. So quickly, to go over some … do you like
that? This is like the least viral blog I ever published. I don’t know why. I thought
this is one of my best that people thought look like sausages were in his body or something.
I loved it. I created it. I’m a graphic designer but apparently a bad one. This study came up just a while back, which
I just love, and people who know me are so annoyed because I constantly talk about it.
There is this big thing about SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) which confer a disadvantage
because they can’t produce certain things for you or they inhibit certain things. One
of them is you can’t produce the active form of folate, the 5- methylenetetrahydrofolate.
It’s called the MTHFR genes that everyone is kind of freaking out about, maybe for a
good reason. But, it turns out that this strain of lactobacillus, which is found commonly
in cultured foods, like dairy foods, produces that exact form of folate. When I saw that
it made so much sense is that you could have glacial phase evolution of your genome, and
then suddenly have the inability to produce folate be completely compensated for by just
simply one strain of bacteria in your gut, so it’s really cool example and we’re
going to get to some other cool ones like superpowers. This one was sparked by Stephanie Seneff.
We were kind of interacting, because she had shown me a paper that showed that when they
cultivated the guts of certain individuals, they found a wide spectrum of vitamins as
you know. One of them though was ascorbate. And, I was like, “Really, I didn’t think
that was possible?” Because, humans supposedly have a genetic defect going back 67 million
years ago, where we were incapable of expressing the gene that enables us to convert basically
glucose into vitamin C. And, it’s a very important defect because Linus Pauling, of
course, identified this the explanation for cardiovascular disease. Is that unified theory
for him was that inability to produce Vitamin C leads to inability to produce collagen to
heal the blood vessels and then use cholesterol instead to keep you from bleeding to death,
etcetera. So, the possibility really inspired me, because they did find the ascorbate but
we didn’t find the mechanism. So, I did a bunch of Googling and ended up finding this
bacteria which has been found to produce Vitamin C in the gut. Gluten Degrading Enzyme Study As some of you know, I’m pretty neurotic about
gluten and I’ve been doing a lot to talk about the dark side of wheat scaring people, I’m
sure. But, I was part of this meme because like the zeitgeist there’s everyone in the
world now. There’s gluten-free options, I’m even annoyed when I see it. Anyway, the truth of it is that there are
23,000 distinct peptides identified in the modern wheat proteome. We talk about gluten
as a monolithic entity, and it’s actually very complex. As most of you know, if you
can’t degrade those peptides they can be highly immunogenic, and celiac disease of course
is the worst case example. Parts per million contamination can cause a cascade that could
even lead to death. This particular study isolated 94 strains
of gluten degrading bacteria in the guts of individual. Some of which could break down
a very toxic 33-mer peptide which we know is primarily implicated in celiac disease. The point, of course, because I was like,
“Wait a second, like there’s no way that you can adapt to consuming gluten.” Because,
we went from the Paleolithic period, which is where the deeper historicity of our genetic
capability evolved to the Neolithic transition of eating grains and cities-states overnight.
Like, “How the hell the heck would you be able to adjust to that if you can’t even produce
those enzymes?” Well, this helps to show why and how. Degrading Toxicants As far as being able to breakdown bisphenol
A which is ubiquitous, of course, and other bisphenols in the category, there are bacteria
that have been identified. For example, kimchi they are able to do that. That’s really
cool because we have created a post-industrial nightmare that I used to freak out about…
I still do, but the toxicants that we’ve generated, hundreds of thousand, literally
that have never been regulated properly or risk assessed. Now we know how we could potentially
survive this theoretical chemical apocalypse. I haven’t seen one degrade plutonium, yet
but I think it’s possible. And, actually there’s research on it helping to accelerate
the execretion of metals. So, I bet there is some potential. This one is really cool because there’s
a particular element of the metabolome which is speaking to the point that between a species
and its environment, which is trying to consume, thanks to the microbiome, are literally thousands
of small molecules. Some which act like hormones. Like a flaxseed has lignan which turns to
enterolactone, enterodiol which acts like estrogen, but blocks the adverse effects.
And, then you have a compound that’s metabolite of chlorophyll that’s been found in an actual
pig study. And, they’re the closest things on the planet to us actually, to enable the
mitochondria and the cell to capture sunlight and convert it in to increased ATP as well
as reducing the reactive oxygen species, the normally occurs when you increase ATP. So,
it basically proves we’re not heterotrophs. We don’t have to eat other animals. We are
photoheterotrophic. So, we’re like plant autotrophs. We can take sunlight energy with
the help again of gut-mediated metabolites like this. This one was mind-blowing and hopefully I’ll
have time. But basically, they found that the Japanese have one in their gut. A bacteria
that actually captured a marine bacteria’s enzyme capabilities that happens to live on
nori, which you eat with your sushi. In other words, the bacteria in their guts were able
to take an enzyme that enabled their bodies exclusively to breakdown all the polysaccharides
that are found in the marine environment which terrestrial evolution only gave us about 20
enzymes. What they found also was that there’s up
to 16,000 carbohydrate-digesting enzymes in the microbiome. There are only 17 that have
been identified that we can produce. So you have 2,000 times more capability to eat potentially
an infinite number of different plants in the environment. Thanks to this mechanism,
the horizontal gene transfer. We have as our biosphere, basically, has one/third
of it is biomasses microbes. You start to kind of appreciate if there’s this intermediary
of our gut bacteria enabling us to interface with the biosphere, pullout very useful genetic
information that would take potentially our species millions of years to evolve, if at
all, but just select out of it. The old paradigm, as I said, collapsing. The
basic concept of course is that there’s a one way flow of information from the DNA
to the RNA, to the protein completely disproven now. So it has a lot to do with the microbiome.
Again, through the lens of information, we are again 4.5 million genes from the microbiome,
23,000 human, obviously that shifts the perspective of what we are and our responsibility to protecting
the microbiome of course. So there are a lot of implications, I’m not going to be able
to get into depth on, but of course complexification is one of them, it’s very overwhelming.
We have obviously moved beyond the gene-centric model, the threats to the gene germ theory.
I mean, there are global geopolitical agendas as you know that are based on things like
polio eradication, as if this germ or this virus outside of us alone could destroy humanity
if we didn’t inject the same virus into the bodies of healthy people beforehand. It’s
absolutely absurd. It’s like we’re dealing with infantilism on a new scale once we apply
this context and understand. The ego of course, having 1% of us be ourselves,
is not much to work with so that’s one part of it. The informational flows are so profound now.
When teverse transcriptase was identified. We know you can incorporate RNA in to DNA. So again, the whole model, the Holy Grail
of the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology gone. Non-coding RNAs really are the majority
of our genome. So 98% of our genome is composed primarily of these non-coding RNAs. They don’t
produce proteins but they’re doing a heck of a lot of stuff. This is what they call
the Dark Matter of the Genome and they orchestrate and coordinate the expression of all those
other protein coding genes. We also have what’s now known as Somatic
transfer of information to the germline. The cells in my body, if I would have another
child produce these nanoparticles containing RNAs that contain information that then can
travel to the sperm in my body and alter the phenotype of my child in the future. That
totally violates Weismann barrier which stated that you could not transfer information that
way. It had to come to the very again glacial pace of vertical transfer through reproduction.
And, even more profound. The discovery of Prionic information. The
folding of the proteins can convey information, pathological of course, like if you heard
about Mad Cow Disease. But, a recent review these shows that 50% of their prions are actually
beneficial so it totally changes the model. You don’t even need nucleic acid based information
transfer anymore. It could mean that the food that was grown conventionally may have energy
that’s different from the biodynamic, and it’s transferred horizontally into the body,
has the same effects as if it was sort of a gene-based rector. A lot of information but basically when you
grasp that any protein in your body that exist at this moment and is in one perfect state
of folding. It’s called native confirmation. In order to attain that state, mathematicians
have basically figured out that it has to go through an infinite number of degrees of
freedom that it can possibly attain that state. In other words, through the primary sequence
of the amino acid to then fold into the complex structures were made of. So, it brings you
to a point of appreciating the mystery and even the intelligence embedded in all things.
Because, it’s just not mathematically possible that we even exist. Time-scale collapse. We go from Eonic time
scale transfer of information through primary DNA to real time. The implications are profound
morally because what it basically means is that anything you do right now here think,
“What you expose yourself to can directly affect future generations.” Again, soma-body-cell
to germline transfer. Mechanisms are already proven. There is a true statement here. We are in
a phase of the Return of the Goddess. There are a number of ways of describing this. First,
uniparental inheritance or extra-nuclear transference of information. Mitochondrial DNA, perfect
example. The last or most recent universal ancestor
of everyone in this planet was an East African woman 200,000 years ago approximately because
the mitochondria in her body survived and were passed onto everyone here has a specific
genes in it and what that means is patriarchy is based on surname surrender. And, the idea
that you pass on the father’s name to the offspring. Who knows the maiden name, etcetera.
So, the concept here is coming back very strongly, and part of it has to do with the microbiome
basically being transferred through the mother. And, even in utero there’s a transfer of
bacteria going on already. So if you think about that if 99% of what we are is based
on the microbiome and the mothers who want to transfer it over, well obviously, her role
now takes on a profoundly different meaning and significance. So there’s an undermining
of a deep thought form that subtense patriarchy. We’re running out of time. The basic principle that we emerge to, I believe,
and this has to do with the Gaia Hypothesis which is also confirmed now by research on
microbial mats, which began at 3.4 billion years ago, is that the homeostatic almost
intelligent goddess-like balance on this planet between biotic and A-biotic sort of atmospheric
dimensions happens to occur because of this interchange in dance between the microbes
and the environment. We are seeing ourselves pass through an intellectual
revolution that I think is only beginning to be acknowledged, but the basic concept
is this – the natural order has now been described in a very granular level. Down to molecular
understanding basically of how for example, you don’t give intrapartum antibiotics to
a mother as she’s giving birth because of what’s going to happen is you’ve destroyed
that age inheritage that is the basis for that child’s being. So, there’s an onto-ethics
that’s implied meaning, there’s a natural order and if you respond in a way that isn’t
in line with that then there will be a severe adverse effect. So, we’re coming to a point, I think, of
compassion. The word literally means “to suffer with.” So if the bacteria in my body
are not cared for correctly and they’re suffering, we’re not passing them onto next generation
correctly, then we suffer. If our environment is sprayed with glyphosate constantly, that’s
going to affect the basis for our microbiome then again that’s a violation of the natural
order and there’s a transgression that’s scientifically validated. So that’s the
difference, the Methos, the Logos are now incongruence in confirming one another. I know I tried packing a lot in there, am
now out of breath. I inhaled a massive dose of jet fuel on the way here apparently and
I think that’s part of it honestly. Thank you for listening and hopefully that’s
been eye-opening. Thanks so much for watching and for more great
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3 thoughts on “Macro Implications Of The Microbiome [Functional Forum]

  1. Absolutely extraordinary speaker and contributor to moving our health and health care system forward! The depth, breadth, synthesis, and clarity Sayer brings to seemingly overwhelmingly complex (and exciting) advances is breathtaking. Nowhere do I find more inspiration to engage in deepening my understanding of my own health and to participate in the dismemberment and replacement of our current model of medical madness.

  2. Incredibly brilliant presentation for the advancement of science and more specifically, the area of health care. A truly great contributor to the betterment of the human race.

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