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Thread: Gut Flora in Humans and Apes

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    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    Gut Flora in Humans and Apes

    I don't know the paper Greg is referring to but Shadow might be interested.

    There’s a new article out in Science tracing the splits in gut flora. It looks as if the gut bacteria in chimpanzees split with those in humans 5.3 million years: doesn’t quite match our genetic estimates based on Human/chimp autosomal DNA differences, but it’s in the ball park. They estimate the human-gorilla split at 15.6 million year ago, but that can’t be right: we know that gorillas split off just a bit before the human-chimp split. Perhaps gorilla diet changed drastically, and maybe they picked up new bacteria from some other species.

    Different populations of modern humans apparently have pretty different microbiomes. The gut bacteria from people in Malawi appear to have diverged 1.7 million years ago from those in Europeans (people from Connecticut). That is surely too old to be a consequence of modern humans’ trek out of Africa: it looks as if AMH, after leaving Africa, picked up gut flora from archaic sapiens like Neanderthals and Denisovans and dwarves.
    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/the-poop-gap/

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    There is quite a bit here in this article. The seeming proof we got our digestive bacteria from Neanderthals in fascinating. The fact that modern humans have different bacteria and where they might have come from is also fascinating. The idea poop influences intellectual functions is also new but the article seems to say Africans are stupid because they are full of sh--. This is very politically incorrect or maybe no. Better to blame their shortcomings on their poop than their genes. I wonder if it will be a career ender for the researcher injecting his rear end with African poop bacteria. Maybe he will get dumber.

    Could the estimated time differences in poop bacteria vs. molecular clock on DNA be just a change in diet as they say? Could it be gorillas ate stems, twigs, etc., and then chimps split after changing their diet to fruit and then we split adding more meat? The drastic dietary changes may have skewed the bacterial rates of change.

    Catterick may remember why this whole thing interests me. Great apes have basically the same guts as we do. There is no reason gorilla or chimp gut bacteria cannot exist within us. OK, so what? Chimps and especially gorillas can digest cellulose, we cannot. We call cellulose "fiber" and poop it out. They break cellulose down, using their gut bacteria, and change cellulose into a useable carbohydrate and burn it as fuel.

    If Doctors Without Borders or some other left wing moron organization would infuse people with chimp/gorilla gut bacteria, world hunger would suddenly end. There would be no more starving children in Africa or anywhere else. Bono could take a break. Unfortunately, these people are going to be eating leaves and straw but are we serious about ending world hunger or not?

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