full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Jessica Green and Karen Guillemin: You are your microbes

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Being human, we each view ourselves as a unique and independent individual, but we're never alone! Millions of microscopic beings inhabit our bodies, and no two bodies are the same. Each is a different habatit for microbial communities: from the arid deserts of our skin, to the villages on our lips, and the cities in our mouths. Even every tooth is its own distinctive neighborhood, and our guts are teaming metropolises of interacting microbes. And in these bustling sertets of our guts, we see a constant influx of food, and every mocibre has a job to do. Here's a cellulolytic betcraia, for example. Their one job is to berak down cellulose, a common compound in vegetables, into sugars. Those siplme sugars then move along to the respirators, another set of mberocis that snatch up these simple sugars and burn them as fuel. As food travels through our digestive tract, it reaches the fermentors who extract energy from these srgaus by converting them into chemicals, like alcohol and hyoegrdn gas, which they spew out as wsate products. Deeper in the depths of our gut city, the syntrophs eke out a living off the fermenters' trash. At each step of this process, eegnry is released, and that energy is abosbred by the cells of the digestive tarct. This city we just saw is different in everyone. Every peorsn has a uuqine and diverse community of gut microbes that can process food in different ways. One person's gut microbes may be capable of releasing only a fraction of the calories that another person's gut microbes can extract. So, what dmeerietns the membership of our gut microbial community? Well, things like our genetic makeup and the microbes we encounter throughout our levis can contribute to our microbial ecosystems. The food we eat also influences which microbes live in our gut. For example, food made of complex molecules, like an apple, requires a lot of different microbial workers to break it down. But, if a food is made of simple moeecllus, like a lollipop, some of these workers are put out of a job. Those workers levae the city, never to return. What doesn't function well are gut microbial communities with only a few different tyeps of wekrros. For example, humans who suffer from diseases like diabetes or chronic gut iiotnlaafmn typically have less microbial variety in their guts. We don't fully understand the best way to manage our individual microbial societies, but it is likely that lifestyle changes, such as eating a varied diet of complex, plant-based foods, can help revitalize our microbial eessytomcs in our gut and across the entire landscape of our body. So, we are really not alone in our body. Our bodies are homes to millions of different microbes, and we need them just as much as they need us. As we learn more about how our microbes interact with each other and with our bodies, we will reveal how we can nurture this complex, iivsnlbie world that spheas our personal identity, our health, and our well-being.

Open Cloze

Being human, we each view ourselves as a unique and independent individual, but we're never alone! Millions of microscopic beings inhabit our bodies, and no two bodies are the same. Each is a different _______ for microbial communities: from the arid deserts of our skin, to the villages on our lips, and the cities in our mouths. Even every tooth is its own distinctive neighborhood, and our guts are teaming metropolises of interacting microbes. And in these bustling _______ of our guts, we see a constant influx of food, and every _______ has a job to do. Here's a cellulolytic ________, for example. Their one job is to _____ down cellulose, a common compound in vegetables, into sugars. Those ______ sugars then move along to the respirators, another set of ________ that snatch up these simple sugars and burn them as fuel. As food travels through our digestive tract, it reaches the fermentors who extract energy from these ______ by converting them into chemicals, like alcohol and ________ gas, which they spew out as _____ products. Deeper in the depths of our gut city, the syntrophs eke out a living off the fermenters' trash. At each step of this process, ______ is released, and that energy is ________ by the cells of the digestive _____. This city we just saw is different in everyone. Every ______ has a ______ and diverse community of gut microbes that can process food in different ways. One person's gut microbes may be capable of releasing only a fraction of the calories that another person's gut microbes can extract. So, what __________ the membership of our gut microbial community? Well, things like our genetic makeup and the microbes we encounter throughout our _____ can contribute to our microbial ecosystems. The food we eat also influences which microbes live in our gut. For example, food made of complex molecules, like an apple, requires a lot of different microbial workers to break it down. But, if a food is made of simple _________, like a lollipop, some of these workers are put out of a job. Those workers _____ the city, never to return. What doesn't function well are gut microbial communities with only a few different _____ of _______. For example, humans who suffer from diseases like diabetes or chronic gut ___________ typically have less microbial variety in their guts. We don't fully understand the best way to manage our individual microbial societies, but it is likely that lifestyle changes, such as eating a varied diet of complex, plant-based foods, can help revitalize our microbial __________ in our gut and across the entire landscape of our body. So, we are really not alone in our body. Our bodies are homes to millions of different microbes, and we need them just as much as they need us. As we learn more about how our microbes interact with each other and with our bodies, we will reveal how we can nurture this complex, _________ world that ______ our personal identity, our health, and our well-being.

Solution

  1. sugars
  2. break
  3. workers
  4. leave
  5. lives
  6. hydrogen
  7. energy
  8. person
  9. molecules
  10. ecosystems
  11. absorbed
  12. tract
  13. bacteria
  14. determines
  15. simple
  16. microbes
  17. shapes
  18. inflamation
  19. habitat
  20. types
  21. waste
  22. unique
  23. invisible
  24. streets
  25. microbe

Original Text

Being human, we each view ourselves as a unique and independent individual, but we're never alone! Millions of microscopic beings inhabit our bodies, and no two bodies are the same. Each is a different habitat for microbial communities: from the arid deserts of our skin, to the villages on our lips, and the cities in our mouths. Even every tooth is its own distinctive neighborhood, and our guts are teaming metropolises of interacting microbes. And in these bustling streets of our guts, we see a constant influx of food, and every microbe has a job to do. Here's a cellulolytic bacteria, for example. Their one job is to break down cellulose, a common compound in vegetables, into sugars. Those simple sugars then move along to the respirators, another set of microbes that snatch up these simple sugars and burn them as fuel. As food travels through our digestive tract, it reaches the fermentors who extract energy from these sugars by converting them into chemicals, like alcohol and hydrogen gas, which they spew out as waste products. Deeper in the depths of our gut city, the syntrophs eke out a living off the fermenters' trash. At each step of this process, energy is released, and that energy is absorbed by the cells of the digestive tract. This city we just saw is different in everyone. Every person has a unique and diverse community of gut microbes that can process food in different ways. One person's gut microbes may be capable of releasing only a fraction of the calories that another person's gut microbes can extract. So, what determines the membership of our gut microbial community? Well, things like our genetic makeup and the microbes we encounter throughout our lives can contribute to our microbial ecosystems. The food we eat also influences which microbes live in our gut. For example, food made of complex molecules, like an apple, requires a lot of different microbial workers to break it down. But, if a food is made of simple molecules, like a lollipop, some of these workers are put out of a job. Those workers leave the city, never to return. What doesn't function well are gut microbial communities with only a few different types of workers. For example, humans who suffer from diseases like diabetes or chronic gut inflamation typically have less microbial variety in their guts. We don't fully understand the best way to manage our individual microbial societies, but it is likely that lifestyle changes, such as eating a varied diet of complex, plant-based foods, can help revitalize our microbial ecosystems in our gut and across the entire landscape of our body. So, we are really not alone in our body. Our bodies are homes to millions of different microbes, and we need them just as much as they need us. As we learn more about how our microbes interact with each other and with our bodies, we will reveal how we can nurture this complex, invisible world that shapes our personal identity, our health, and our well-being.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
gut microbes 3
simple sugars 2
gut microbial 2
microbial ecosystems 2

Important Words

  1. absorbed
  2. alcohol
  3. apple
  4. arid
  5. bacteria
  6. beings
  7. bodies
  8. body
  9. break
  10. burn
  11. bustling
  12. calories
  13. capable
  14. cells
  15. cellulolytic
  16. cellulose
  17. chemicals
  18. chronic
  19. cities
  20. city
  21. common
  22. communities
  23. community
  24. complex
  25. compound
  26. constant
  27. contribute
  28. converting
  29. deeper
  30. depths
  31. deserts
  32. determines
  33. diabetes
  34. diet
  35. digestive
  36. diseases
  37. distinctive
  38. diverse
  39. eat
  40. eating
  41. ecosystems
  42. eke
  43. encounter
  44. energy
  45. entire
  46. extract
  47. fermentors
  48. food
  49. foods
  50. fraction
  51. fuel
  52. fully
  53. function
  54. gas
  55. genetic
  56. gut
  57. guts
  58. habitat
  59. health
  60. homes
  61. human
  62. humans
  63. hydrogen
  64. identity
  65. independent
  66. individual
  67. inflamation
  68. influences
  69. influx
  70. inhabit
  71. interact
  72. interacting
  73. invisible
  74. job
  75. landscape
  76. learn
  77. leave
  78. lifestyle
  79. lips
  80. live
  81. lives
  82. living
  83. lollipop
  84. lot
  85. makeup
  86. manage
  87. membership
  88. metropolises
  89. microbe
  90. microbes
  91. microbial
  92. microscopic
  93. millions
  94. molecules
  95. mouths
  96. move
  97. neighborhood
  98. nurture
  99. person
  100. personal
  101. process
  102. products
  103. put
  104. reaches
  105. released
  106. releasing
  107. requires
  108. respirators
  109. return
  110. reveal
  111. revitalize
  112. set
  113. shapes
  114. simple
  115. skin
  116. snatch
  117. societies
  118. spew
  119. step
  120. streets
  121. suffer
  122. sugars
  123. syntrophs
  124. teaming
  125. tooth
  126. tract
  127. trash
  128. travels
  129. types
  130. typically
  131. understand
  132. unique
  133. varied
  134. variety
  135. vegetables
  136. view
  137. villages
  138. waste
  139. ways
  140. workers
  141. world