This “stream plot” is a running tally of various microbial populations in the gut over time.

By Karl Leif Bates

Assistant Professor Lawrence David of molecular genetics and microbiology in the Medical School, recently did a star turn on the Radio In Vivo program, talking about his work on the human gut’s incredible rainforest of microbial biodiversity and its interactions with infections, the immune system and our diets. There are ten non-you cells in your gut for every cell of you and their genes outnumber yours about 100 to one.

Lawrence David

Lawrence David

“Our guts are probably some of the world’s most densely colonized microbial communities,” David told host Ernie Hood. It’s a paradise really, with a steady supply of nutrients, constant climate, no sunlight “and only one way in and out.”

Listen to the one-hour April 30 podcast here

And then maybe take another 14 minutes to hear Lawrence absolutely kill at a  Story Colliders session in December 2012, telling the outrageous tale of sampling his own poop for a year and making it through airport security with a backpack full of um, specimens. (Warning – includes some pretty unavoidable scatalogical profanity.)