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Medicine Networking

Belgian Barrels Reveal History of Human Gut Microbes 56

sciencehabit writes "700-year-old human feces, preserved in sealed barrels under a town square from the Middle Ages, are shedding new light on the evolution of the bacteria in our guts. Viruses isolated from the ancient poop reveal a growing arms race between our native bacteria and microbial invaders. Such viruses may have been instrumental in helping us digest food, temper inflammation, and fight obesity." Less frightening news that touches on the same domain: European cities (notably Britain) decided to go with sewers instead of barrels, and now, writes reader DW100 "An ISP in the UK has come up with an innovative way to deliver broadband around London: its Victorian sewer network. Geo Networks runs the cables along the roof of the sewers, avoiding any 'waste' issues and providing fast, low-latency, high-fibre services to business and other providers."
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Belgian Barrels Reveal History of Human Gut Microbes

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  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @03:22AM (#46374197) Homepage Journal

    What I don't get is why someone would shit in a barrel and then bury it.

  • by flyneye ( 84093 ) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @08:38AM (#46374863) Homepage

    Because eventually, like an old grave, erosion, animals and time will carry away most of the dirt below, leaving a crust of earth above. Some schmoe will come along, step on the weak spot and find himself up to his chin in the middle ages second oldest trick in the book; youve just stepped in some shit!
    Often this was coupled with the oldest trick in the book( lookest thou over there) to ensure success of the second. But the dead brilliance of being able to set it so far in the future, show the Belgians to be superior amongst the Europeans, as if we didnt know from the beer already...

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal