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Our microbial friends and how to look after them
Prof. Graham Rook (Professor at UCL)
We are not individuals: we are ecosystems, and our health depends on billions of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in us, on us and in the natural environment around us. Our developing brains, and our immune, endocrine, and metabolic systems all require inputs of data and signals from these microbial partners. I will explain how this situation evolved, and how modern urban lifestyles compromise these microbial inputs and predispose us to a variety of illnesses. Finally I will suggest what we can do to solve the problem.
Why do we catch colds?
Dr. John Tregoning (PI and Senior lecturer at Imperial College London)
Every breath we take, we inhale approximately 1,000 bacteria, a handful of funguses and a smattering of viruses, all of which would love to infect us if they could. And yet, we only catch a cold 3 or 4 times a year. We are trying to understand what happens on that one unlucky breath and how we can improve our bodies defences against infection.