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Hologenome

November 10, 2010
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November 10th, 2010 by Lushfun.com

Somewhat peculiar story from wired about fruit flies preferring partners whom are reared on the same food source. Perhaps humans are similar in some respects? “But these results show that it’s not just a host’s genome that can undergo selection; it’s the host plus everything that lives on or in it. The Hologenome Theory posits that it’s the host genome plus its associated microorganisms that ends up being the unit of selection.” This quote from the article linked below is particularly startling. Imagine the bacteria in your stomach that develops out of your preference to corn flakes altering your preferences for females that also similarly like corn flakes, isn’t it grand?

I am sure we have more inputs and variability in our system but it is somewhat interesting to note that a lot of it may come from battles between bacteria in your system with marginal preferences given to someone who smell or possess a similar proportion of the same bacteria in their system not just to your preferences but due to other organisms in your system. It underscores the Selfish Gene theory by Richard Dawkins, which somewhat highlights our bodies being alike to lumbering robots and there are influencers within us that drive us, our genes. Here however we see that not only genes but other things also impact our decisions. So in some sense we could always ask ourselves do we really want that donut, or does donut living bacteria within my insides want more of its brethren to influence my behavior to propagate itself? It may well be that it is a little of both.

*{quote taken from http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/11/fly-sex-bacteria-evolution/#more-41338}

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