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FarmMarsNow
2014-Aug-28, 12:22 PM
The news suggests--> that studies indicate --> that a lack of exposue to various Earth bacteria correlates to the appearance of allergies in children. One media outlet produced the name of a researcher. Here's a link (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24401109) to one of the researcher's publications on allergy.

So, how can we potentially deal with the lack of bacteria in space? Must we learn how to cultivate not only humanity in space but its bacteria also? Is this a duplicate thread?

swampyankee
2014-Aug-28, 12:54 PM
The news suggests--> that studies indicate --> that a lack of exposue to various Earth bacteria correlates to the appearance of allergies in children. One media outlet produced the name of a researcher. Here's a link (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24401109) to one of the researcher's publications on allergy.

So, how can we potentially deal with the lack of bacteria in space? Must we learn how to cultivate not only humanity in space but its bacteria also? Is this a duplicate thread?

"So, how can we...?"

Doing enough research to find out what environmental exposures are required for optimal health. There is some evidence that exposure to some pathogens is required for proper immune system development. Certainly, they have found that the bacteria that reside within a human are very important to human health.

"Must we learn...?"

Probably. There are studies about the human bacterial population; these are, among other things, showing that different intestinal flora can contribute to obesity. They've also found that Clostridium can be treated by "fecal transplants." And, yes, these are pretty much what can be imagined.

Even farther, there will probably need to be research into what external exposures are necessary for robust health. For example, there's some evidence that lack of exposure to peanut and tree nut proteins in infancy and even prenatally is contributing to the increase in the rate of severe allergies to these.

Noclevername
2014-Aug-28, 01:38 PM
I think the question of immunity in general will become a major concern of all colonizers and their descendants. No one wants their society to become isolated from the outside due to an inability to make outside physical contact, or wiped out by a single mutant strain of a common illness.

I can foresee a practice of exchanging "Germ Ambassadors" to mingle with the populace and prevent immunity drift, and constant variation of colony food crops to prevent or reduce the levels of allergies.

Jens
2014-Aug-28, 11:22 PM
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So, how can we potentially deal with the lack of bacteria in space? Must we learn how to cultivate not only humanity in space but its bacteria also?

I think you have to be careful about saying that "there are no bacteria in space. Probably true, but not for environments in which people live in space. We have something like 10 bacterial cells for every one of our body cells, so you can be sure that the ISS is teeming with microbes. The issue, as I think Noclevername mentioned, is the potential lack of diversity. I agree that it's something that needs to be investigated.

FarmMarsNow
2014-Aug-29, 02:39 AM
I think you have to be careful about saying that "there are no bacteria in space. Probably true, but not for environments in which people live in space. We have something like 10 bacterial cells for every one of our body cells, so you can be sure that the ISS is teeming with microbes. The issue, as I think Noclevername mentioned, is the potential lack of diversity. I agree that it's something that needs to be investigated.Gravity isn't the only thing tethering us to the Earth.

kzb
2014-Aug-29, 11:56 AM
It's already bad enough on Earth, with about 30% of children in western societies now suffering from allergies. This is increasing with each generation. In the future it will simply be normal to have multiple allergies whether you live in space or not :)