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Biotech entrepreneur, healthcare consultant, minimalist, music addict, trivia buff | Editor of Medical Myths and Models |
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When the concept was first described 25 years ago, synbiotics were defined as combinations of probiotics and prebiotics. To briefly review, probiotics are microorganisms that provide benefits to the host, and prebiotics are compounds that promote the growth of those beneficial microbes.

Terminology 101

The term came from the Greek prefix -syn, meaning “together,” and the suffix -biotic, meaning “pertaining to life.”

But the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) recently decided that this definition may stifle innovation. In particular, meeting the individual requirements for both a probiotic and prebiotic may prove too restrictive.

  • Original definition (verbose and imprecise): “mixtures…

Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash

As a consumer of email content, I share my ideas on what audiences want. Give readers something of value, and they will happily subscribe. If you build it, they will come.

Mailing lists remain a valuable commodity in these uncertain times. Email newsletters allow us to communicate new ideas and research, clarify or modify previous guidance, and stay in touch with our audiences. But how can you ensure subscriber satisfaction?

Give your followers a reason to continually anticipate your updates, whether in written, audio, or video format. …

If you ever find yourself in a position where you need to create a tutorial or record a conference for later use, you can create a screen recording and capture sound on your iPad using the following steps:

  1. Under Settings, navigate to Control Center, then add Screen Recording.

2. To open Control Center, swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen. Tap the Screen Recording button, then wait for the three-second countdown.

In that case, my life must be really unrelatable. But I'd argue that these experiences are much more universal than you might think. They're just seldom discussed. People feel all this pressure to only present the best sides of themselves, but I personally identify with the dark, the depraved, the grotesque. Feels more human to me.

Like you, I don't own makeup, dresses, or heels, and I don't need to wear a bra to prevent back pain. But I define femininity a little differently. Sure, some people may mistake it for physical attributes, but I think femininity is making a hearth where friends and family can congregate, caring for someone's needs the way only a woman can, exercising both gentleness and strength and having the versatility to swiftly switch between each. Femininity is a beautiful blend of confidence and humility, resilience and integrity, light and love.

In November of last year, I was diagnosed with superior mesenteric artery syndrome after a magnetic resonance enterography scan showed profound gastric and duodenal dilation and narrowing of the caliber where the duodenum crosses the SMA. But my gastric emptying studies and barium continous x-ray series were largely unremarkable. Nonetheless, my physicians stuck to their original SMAS diagnosis and decided to perform surgery, despite my doubts and objections.

The holistic approach regards the host and its associated microbiota as a single unit (holobiont) that coevolves. Reprinted from Berg, G., Rybakova, D., Fischer, D. et al. Microbiome definition re-visited: old concepts and new challenges. Microbiome 8, 103 (2020). [CC BY 4.0]

Personal Update

Over a year has passed since the last installment of this newsletter. I’ll briefly explain my absence. Many months of COVID long hauling beginning in early April 2020 triggered lung scarring, low blood oxygen levels, dysautonomia, kidney swelling, gastrointestinal bleeding, and worsening cystitis pain.

Shortly before Thanksgiving last year, I was diagnosed with a rare obstructive GI disorder and underwent an excruciating abdominal surgery that unfortunately only made matters worse. …

In honor of World Microbiome Day 2021, let’s take some time to appreciate the fascinating world of microbes and our ongoing efforts to study and characterize them. Microbes offer a vast array of utility applications, including but not limited to fermentation, agriculture, bioremediation, and maintenance of human health.

“Man himself has emerged from a line descent that began with microbial life, a line common to all plant and animal species…{he} is dependent not only on other human beings and on the physical world but also on other creatures — animals, plants, microbes — that have evolved together with him. …

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To lead a life of necessity but not luxury

To have food in your belly yet reject gluttony

To wear humility on your back

And fiery passion on your sleeve

To grind and toil until your knuckles bleed

To come home everyday with torn up knees

To glide by carefree and creative

Utterly indifferent to illusion or pretension

To shrug at self doubt and plow ahead

To stand in your own and take a stand

To be ‘naive’ and believe in meaning

Facing the crowd, hands and breath trembling

To sow seeds of sorrow for a brighter tomorrow

And rest…

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