Dr. Bill Miller, a physician in academic and private practice for over 30 years, combines his unique observations about patterns of disease from medicine with current scientific discoveries in many other fields. In the first half, he discussed how the self is composed of a vast interdependent network of cells and microbial ecologies. "Our actual narrative is the unseen world," and the cells that make up an individual are outnumbered 10-to-1 by "microbial life that lives in us, on us, with us-- so much a part of us that we almost live in an illusion of being a singularity, but we really are a vast constellation of life all put together so seamlessly that it fools us into thinking we are just by ourselves," he revealed.
There may be around 100 trillion microbes in the human gut and they are absolutely essential for our well-being-- without them the immune and metabolic systems would break down, he reported. While trying to shield themselves and their children from dirt and disease, people may be inadvertently causing an imbalance in their exposure to microbial companions that are needed for optimal health, he explained (more in this blog post). Dr. Miller also commented on vaccines, calling them one of the greatest advances in human history, saving hundreds of millions of people from the scourge of deadly pathogens. While they do have some risk, their overall advantages far outweigh any hazards, he asserted.
In the latter half, space historian and C2C Science Advisor Robert Zimmerman provided updates on various space missions and news, as well as technological developments. The New Horizons probe has a new target after Pluto, he announced, a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits almost a billion miles past Pluto. Regarding recent photos of the Martian surface in which people say they see various anomalous objects such as spaceships, he believes this is wishful thinking on their parts. The Red Planet is actually a very barren place that at most has struggling microbial life, he remarked.
In recent space news, the first Danish astronaut along with two other astronauts has just launched on a Soyuz spacecraft for a mission on the International Space Station, while a Japanese supply craft is transporting various whiskey samples to the ISS, to test how the alcohol ages in a weightless environment. Zimmerman also spoke about NASA's planned reconnaissance mission in the 2020s to investigate Jupiter's moon Europa, which has a mysterious red material that seeps out on its surface.
Cleanliness may be next to godliness, but the way we wash our hands is certainly not going to destroy many germs. Despite the national preoccupation with staying germ-free, especially during flu season, microbial expert Dr. Bill Miller told C2C on9/1/15 that traditional hand washing may not be the answer. Most people wash for a few seconds under hot water with a bar of soap and think that'll do the trick.
Not so, Dr. Miller told George. The only way to thoroughly clean-up is to vigorously scrub for a full 20 seconds. The only people who actually do that (and more) are doctors preparing for surgical procedures, he said. And instead of isolating yourself in a seemingly sterile environment, we're better off getting exposed to all kinds of microbial organisms to build up an immunity. Children in the old days used to play in the dirt, subjecting themselves to anything and everything. But with modern "child proofing" there's said to be a marked increase in childhood asthma and other ailments, Dr. Miller noted.
While we may have billions of microbes and bacteria crawling all over us and inside - the "microcosm within" - Dr. Miller explained that this "vast constellation of life" actually helps keep humanity alive despite Nature's many attempts to destroy us. For more, listen to the 9/1/15 show in its entirety. Not yet a Coast Insider? Sign up here.
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- Little by Little
- Learning to Fly
- Rhythm Of The Wilderness
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- Fooling Yourself
- Ain't That a Kick in the Head
- Ghost Dance
- Rocky Mountain High
- Fanfare for the Common Man
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
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