Healthy . . . But Missing Gut Microbes (Starts 3:25) Practically everyone on the planet now knows that animals have microbes in their guts. This is a new field of exploration, and top researchers emphasize that we need to learn much more before making any blanket statements about the total effect of the gut microbiome. Nevertheless, it’s become politically correct to advocate specific diets to eat, for the sake of healthy gut microbes, and to assume that all animals “need” gut microbes. That’s one reason the research from CU-Boulder evolutionary biologist Toby Hammer is so fascinating. Hammer has discovered a number of animals that probably don’t need microbes in their guts – ranging from some insects to some animals as large as, well, a panda bear. It all began with Hammer’s research into caterpillars . . .
Host: Chip Grandits
Producer: Shelley Schlender
Engineer: Chip Grandits
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett