National Public Radio - Staying Healthy May Mean Learning to Love Our Microbiomes

Dr. Rosamond Rhodes discusses the expanding view of the microbiome is changing how some people think about humans, not as individual entities, but as a "supraorganism."

 – July 22, 2013  –– 

In the past decade, attitudes about the bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes living all over our bodies has almost completely turned around. Now scientists say that not only are those microbes often not harmful, we can't live without them. This expanding view of the microbiome is changing how some people think about humans, not as individual entities, but as what Philosopher and Bioethicist at The Mount Sinai Medical Center Rosamond Rhodes calls a "supraorganism." Dr. Rhodes said, "We're not just us by ourselves, but a combination of us and them," Rhodes says. "And that makes us very much more a part of our environment as opposed to something freestanding and separate from our environment. Those are very radical changes in the way we see self-identity." Learn more.