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Medicine

Friendly Fungus Protects Our Mouths From Invaders 63

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-a-mouthful dept.
sciencehabit writes "When we talk about the human microbiome, bacteria usually get all the press. But microscopic fungi live in and on us, too. New research shows that a little-known fungus called Pichia lives in healthy mouths and may play an important role in protecting us from an infection caused by the harmful fungus Candida. The friendly fungus makes a substance that may even lead to a new anti-fungal drug."
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Friendly Fungus Protects Our Mouths From Invaders

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  • by hawkinspeter (831501) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @09:29AM (#46498067)
    I understand you might only have experience of the one gender, but women also suck dicks. TFA mentions Candida and thrush which tends to affect women more than men, so cunnilingus is probably a more common route to getting too much Candida thriving in your mouth.

    In summary, you'd have to be some kind of idiot to think this is agenda-driven science.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @09:36AM (#46498099) Journal
    There are so many species of microbes that live within us as symbiots. Some consider the entire body of us as something like an ant or bee colony. The germline cells that end up in the gonads alone go on to produce offspring. All the remaining cells (like blood cells, muscle cells, etc) choose to remain sterile to help the germline cells reproduce.

    For some of the bee colonies, the workers and the queen have genetic relatedness of 0.75, our body cells have r=1 between blood cells and gonads. Thus the insect colony is a looser agglomeration and our bodies are tighter agglomerations. Between parent and children the relatedness factor r=0.5, between cousins r= 0.125. uncles/aunts to nephews/nieces r= 0.25. In societies where first cousin marriage is encouraged, the general relatedness of the population could be much higher. Though it was not unknown in Europe (Einestein, Darwin married their first cousins) it is more common in the East. Even then most of them allow only children of a brother and sister to marry, not children of two brothers or children of two sisters. The only exception is the Ottoman empire which made marriage between children of brothers legal/halal/kosher. (Since Ottoman empire was Islamic many people confuse this practice with Islam. But in Muslim countries that were never ruled by the Ottomans this practice is very rare). Places that were once ruled by the Ottoman empire you could have whole villages or clans where all males have exactly the same y chromosome and have very high degree of relatedness. Such populations would pledge allegiance to the clan and take great personal sacrifices for the sake of their clans or tribes or villages or their shieks.

    You could see the level of personal sacrifice made by individual animals or cells as a continuum plotted on genetic relatedness factor r. Our cells pledge very tight allegiance to the germline cells, ants/bees somewhat looser, human societies with very high relatedness have high patriotic feelings and personal sacrifices for the sake of community.

    Trying to impose a western style democracy of a society with a mean value r on to other societies with an order of magnitude different r would not work easily. Giving autonomy and self governance for people/tribes/clans with high degree of relatedness, but subject to collective punishments and rewards would be considered sacrilege in the West. But such practices are more likely to succeed, pacify the population and lead to peace.

  • Blown immune systems (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 16, 2014 @10:13AM (#46498323)

    This discovery could prove marvelous for people whose cancer treatments means their immune system has been blown away. Antibiotics to treat their infections often destroy friendly flora, resulting in runaway Candida infections. Using a friendly fungus to fight an destructive one could make a big difference.

  • Re:fido already knew (Score:4, Informative)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Sunday March 16, 2014 @12:15PM (#46499183)

    We already knew why people/dogs do that: saliva contains blood clotting agents [nih.gov].

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