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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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  • Re:TMI (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Livius (318358) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @09:48AM (#46497937)

    Yes.

    It's stuff that matters. In fact health matters a lot.

  • antibiotic soap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by transporter_ii (986545) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @10:52AM (#46498197) Homepage

    Same goes for skin, as well. Wash your hands, but you don't have to "nuke bacteria from orbit." A lot of it is good for you and is there for a reason.

    Scientists Discover That Antimicrobial Wipes and Soaps May Be Making You (and Society) Sick

    http://blogs.scientificamerica... [scientificamerican.com]

    What is worse, perhaps the most comprehensive study of the effectiveness of antibiotic and non-antibiotic soaps in the U.S., led by Elaine Larson at Columbia University (with Aiello as a coauthor), found that while for healthy hand washers there was no difference between the effects of the two, for chronically sick patients (those with asthma and diabetes, for example) antibiotic soaps were actually associated with increases in the frequencies of fevers, runny noses and coughs [4]. In other words, antibiotic soaps appeared to have made those patients sicker. Let me say that again: Most people who use antibiotic soap are no healthier than those who use normal soap. AND those individuals who are chronically sick and use antibiotic soap appear to get SICKER.

    Here, then, is the evidence we need, evidence very clearly at odds with our intuition to scrub and scrub. Yet hardly anyone has followed up on Larson’s study and no one has reexamined what happens with chronically sick patients and antibiotic soaps. The truth is that few biologists are studying what antibiotic soaps do to us. Still, the evidence indicates that when confronted with a dirty grocery store cart handle, we should just wash with soap and water like our great grandmothers would have done (if they had had grocery carts). At the very least, antibiotic wipes do not appear to help us and, it may be that they are actually hurting us.

  • by pepty (1976012) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @11:48AM (#46498523)

    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.

    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.

    There's an old Bedouin (who were part of the Ottoman empire for a while) saying: "I against my brother, my brothers and I against my cousins, then my cousins and I against strangers"

    Tribalism/clannism doesn't bring peace, it just structures violence and corruption differently while removing many of the checks and balances.

  • by Guy Harris (3803) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Sunday March 16, 2014 @04:35PM (#46500493)

    You have to appreciate the irony that they find a new symbiotic fungus with clear health benefits and immediately try and use it to develop a novel way to kill fungus.

    And the health benefit is that it puts out a substance that, err, umm, kills other fungus species, so "[killing] fungus" - or, to state it in a more accurate fashion, "killing other fungus species - is the clear health benefit.

    So this is not any more ironic than, say, introducing a predatory mammal species to an ecosystem to cut down on the population of another mammal species.

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