Microbes

Microbes

Yagnopavit, GUT Microbes, Vagus Nerve

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Gut, Vagus nerve and mind cotnrol
Gut, Vagus nerve and mind cotnrol

We discussed this last week. We are guest and they are host. They control our lives and we facilitate.

How could they send messages -> Using vagus nerve.

How do you control messages? By controlling vagus nerve.

What can help to control vagus nerve so that you are always in good mood? Yagnopavit (जनेऊ). When we encircle ear during urination or passing stool, we control Vagus nerve. And by that we control internal movement of GUT so no excess Apana Vayu is exchanged with environment.

Yagnopavit and Vagus nerve
Yagnopavit and Vagus nerve

“Microbes have the capacity to manipulate behavior and mood through altering the neural signals in the vagus nerve, changing taste receptors, producing toxins to make us feel bad, and releasing chemical rewards to make us feel good,”

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About VAgus nerve

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Gut controlled mind
Gut controlled mind

The vagus nerve supplies motor parasympathetic fibers to all the organs except the suprarenal (adrenal) glands, from the neck down to the second segment of the transverse colon. The vagus also controls a few skeletal muscles, notable ones being:

Cricothyroid muscle
Levator veli palatini muscle
Salpingopharyngeus muscle
Palatoglossus muscle
Palatopharyngeus muscle
Superior, middle and inferior pharyngeal constrictors
Muscles of the larynx (speech).

This means that the vagus nerve is responsible for such varied tasks as heart rate, gastrointestinal peristalsis, sweating, and quite a few muscle movements in the mouth, including speech (via the recurrent laryngeal nerve). It also has some afferent fibers that innervate the inner (canal) portion of the outer ear (via the auricular branch, also known as Alderman’s nerve) and part of the meninges. This explains why a person may cough when tickled on the ear, such as when trying to remove ear wax with a cotton swab.

Do Gut Bacteria Rule Our Minds?

http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2014/08/116526/do-gut-bacteria-rule-our-minds

In an Ecosystem Within Us, Microbes Evolved to Sway Food Choices

A Power Struggle Inside the Gut

Bacterial species vary in the nutrients they need. Some prefer fat, and others sugar, for instance. But they not only vie with each other for food and to retain a niche within their ecosystem – our digestive tracts – they also often have different aims than we do when it comes to our own actions, according to senior author Athena Aktipis, PhD, co-founder of the Center for Evolution and Cancer with the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF.

 

Research : GUT Microbes controls circadian clocks

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GutMicrobesClocks

While selfish mankind is focusing more and investing more in understanding internal circadian rhythms, we are utter foolish in recording every day disturbed circadian rhythms in outer environment. If someone notices, they are called climate hoax creators, conspiracy theorists etc.

“5 elements outside. 5 elements inside. No difference. If the outside is disturbed, such disturbances can occur on the inside too. The reverse also becomes true if done so deeply that we’re all the zombies who destroy everything for no good reason (okay, our current “good reason” is to make money) and will ultimately turn into cannibal zombies to end the feeding frenzy.” – Suraj Kumar

It is vicious cycle. You eat junk, disturb GUT bacteria and your circadian rhythms are disturbed (body clocks).

On the other hand, disturb rhythms by shift jobs, late night movies, parties, irregular life routine – all results into disturbed GUT.


Research


http://harvardmagazine.com/2015/06/engineering-circadian-clock

Engineering an Internal Clock

Gut microbes affect circadian rhythms in mice, study says

http://www.anl.gov/articles/gut-microbes-affect-circadian-rhythms-mice-study-says

A study including researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago found evidence that gut microbes affect circadian rhythms and metabolism in mice.

We know from studies on jet lag and night shifts that metabolism—how bodies use energy from food—is linked to the body’s circadian rhythms. These rhythms, regular daily fluctuations in mental and bodily functions, are communicated and carried out via signals sent from the brain and liver. Light and dark signals guide circadian rhythms, but it appears that microbes have a role to play as well.

All humans have a set of bacteria, viruses and fungi living in our guts, called the gut microbiome, which helps us digest food—and also interacts with the body in a number of other ways: there is evidence they affect allergies, mental health, weight and other metabolic conditions.

Researchers found that mice with a normal set of gut microbes showed evidence of a regular daily microbial cycle, with different species flourishing in different parts of the day and producing different compounds as a result. These compounds appear to act on the liver—they affected how circadian clock genes were expressed in the liver.

A high-fat diet reduced the variation in the microbial cycle; the circadian clock genes were disrupted, and the mice gained weight.

Meanwhile, “germ-free” mice raised without a normal gut microbiome showed evidence of a disrupted circadian clock cycle, but did not gain weight even on a high-fat diet.

The researchers hypothesize that high-fat diets change the compounds that microbes produce, thus disrupting the liver’s circadian clock signaling.

“The earlier explanation for microbiome-related weight gain was that some bacteria make calories from food more available to your body, but this is a fundamental alternative explanation,” said Jack Gilbert, an Argonne microbial ecologist who co-authored the study.

प्राण, microbes and obesity

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bac

This land is land of मरुत/मारुति/हनुमान/गणेश worshiper. If not 100%, 80% of Indians worship one of them (Hanuman and/or Ganesh).

We do this because, we know the value of मूलाधार (GUT in modern medical science terms). We also know impact of focused mind on the well-being of Body.

Microbes are nothing but loosely-coupled manifestation of प्राण (here प्राण@मूलाधार ) in contrast to body-cells who are tightly coupled as organs.

One more study praising importance of microbes (i.e. प्राण => हनुमान, गणेश, मारुति i.e. driving force behind microbes population protection and control )

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“Obesity is linked to changes in our gut microbes — the trillions of tiny organisms that inhabit our intestines.

“Taken together these experiments demonstrate a causal link between alterations in the gut microbiota in response to changes in the diet and increased acetate production,” said Shulman. The increased acetate in turn leads to increased food intake, setting off a positive feedback loop that drives obesity and insulin resistance, he explained.

The study authors suggest that this positive feedback loop may have served an important role in evolution, by prompting animals to fatten up when they stumbled across calorically dense food in times of food scarcity.


Research


Study reveals how altered gut microbes cause obesity

http://news.yale.edu/2016/06/08/study-reveals-how-altered-gut-microbes-cause-obesity

“Alterations in the gut microbiota are associated with obesity and the metabolic syndrome in both humans and rodents,” Shulman noted. “In this study we provide a novel mechanism to explain this biological phenomenon in rodents, and we are now examining whether this mechanism translates to humans.”

GUT Microbes : Junk Food Isn’t Just Making Us Fat—It’s Making Us Stupid

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Junk food

Take that. And participate in making future generations stupid by offering them biscuits,chocolates and all range of fast food. When I request friends and families not to offer fast food to my son, they often make fun of me. Now, please don’t.

I almost worship bacteria as lower incarnation of the God (And so I worship Hanuman and Ganesh as they are representative of Gana or group of bacteria living in GUT). Read this. Fat, sugar cause bacterial changes that may relate to loss of cognitive function. Bacterial combination in GUT is very important for your thinking capacity. Don’t deliberately kill your child’s creativity.


Crossword, Sudoku, and Jeopardy! enthusiasts beware: Every french fry and candy bar you consume might be throwing off your game.

study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University and published in the journal Neuroscience suggests that high-fat, high-sugar diets have a detrimental effect on what they refer to as “cognitive flexibility,” or the power to adapt and adjust to changing situations.


http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2015/jun/fat-sugar-cause-bacterial-changes-may-relate-loss-cognitive-function

Fat, sugar cause bacterial changes that may relate to loss of cognitive function

A study at Oregon State University indicates that both a high-fat and a high-sugar diet, compared to a normal diet, cause changes in gut bacteria that appear related to a significant loss of “cognitive flexibility,” or the power to adapt and adjust to changing situations.

This effect was most serious on the high-sugar diet, which also showed an impairment of early learning for both long-term and short-term memory.

The findings are consistent with some other studies about the impact of fat and sugar on cognitive function and behavior, and suggest that some of these problems may be linked to alteration of the microbiome – a complex mixture in the digestive system of about 100 trillion microorganisms.

The research was done with laboratory mice that consumed different diets and then faced a variety of tests, such as water maze testing, to monitor changes in their mental and physical function, and associated impacts on various types of bacteria. The findings were published in the journal Neuroscience, in work supported by the Microbiology Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

“It’s increasingly clear that our gut bacteria, or microbiota, can communicate with the human brain,” said Kathy Magnusson, a professor in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute.

“Bacteria can release compounds that act as neurotransmitters, stimulate sensory nerves or the immune system, and affect a wide range of biological functions,” she said. “We’re not sure just what messages are being sent, but we are tracking down the pathways and the effects.”

Why Body Massage in Winter? Skin bacteria could protect against disease

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bacteria

There are more and more examples of the ways in which we can benefit from our bacteria. According to researcher Rolf Lood from Lund University in Sweden, this is true for the skin as well. He has shown that the most common bacteria on human skin secrete a protein which protects us from the reactive oxygen species thought to contribute to several skin diseases. The protein has an equally strong effect on dangerous oxygen species as known antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E.

Dry skin harbors more variety of bacteria including reactive oxygen species.

As per modern microbiology, highest diversity (not numbers) of bacteria resides on the dry areas of the skin.

What are the driest part?

Our hands and our buttocks.

Winter + Vata Derangement => Skin Dryness => Prana (प्राण) is consumed vigorously to protect the skin => more bacteria on skin for cleaning job of cellular debris. => Low Prana => Flu

Replenish Prana for skin by frequent hand-wash. Do body massage during winter (Sesame oil).

Easy?


Research


Skin bacteria could protect against disease

http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/skin-bacteria-could-protect-against-disease

The skin bacterium is called Propionibacterium acnes.

“The name originates from the fact that the bacterium was first discovered on a patient with severe acne. But whether it causes acne is uncertain – it may have been present merely because it is so common”, says Rolf Lood at the Department of Clinical Sciences in Lund.

He has discovered that the “acne bacterium” secretes a protein called RoxP. This protein protects against what is known as oxidative stress, a condition in which reactive oxygen species damage cells. A common cause of oxidative stress on the skin is UV radiation from the sun.

“This protein is important for the bacterium’s very survival on our skin. The bacterium improves its living environment by secreting RoxP, but in doing so it also benefits us”, explains Rolf Lood.

Oxidative stress is considered to be a contributing factor in several skin diseases, including atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and skin cancer.

Since Propionibacterium acnes is so common, it is present in both healthy individuals and people with skin diseases. According to Rolf Lood, however, people have different amounts of the bacterium on their skin, and it can also produce more or less of the protective protein RoxP.

This will now be further investigated in both patients and laboratory animals by Lood and his team. The human study will compare patients with basal cell carcinoma, a pre-cancerous condition called actinic keratosis and a healthy control group. The study will be able to show whether there is any connection between the degree of illness and the amount of RoxP on the patient’s skin.

The study on laboratory animals will also examine whether RoxP also functions as protection. Here, mice who have been given RoxP and others who have not will be exposed to UV radiation. The researchers will then observe whether the RoxP mice have a better outcome than those who were not given the protective protein.

“If the study results are positive, they could lead to the inclusion of RoxP in sunscreens and its use in the treatment of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis”, hopes Rolf Lood. His research findings have recently been published in an article in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

A novel enzyme with antioxidant capacity produced by the ubiquitous skin colonizer Propionibacterium acnes

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep36412#auth-4

The role of the skin microbiota in human health is poorly understood. Here, we identified and characterized a novel antioxidant enzyme produced by the skin microbiota, designated RoxP for radical oxygenase of Propionibacterium acnes. RoxP is uniquely produced by the predominant skin bacterium P. acnes, with no homologs in other bacteria; it is highly expressed and strongly secreted into culture supernatants. We show that RoxP binds heme, reduces free radicals, and can protect molecules from oxidation. Strikingly, RoxP is crucial for the survival of P. acnes in oxic conditions and for skin colonization of P. acnes ex vivo. Taken together, our study strongly suggests that RoxP facilitates P. acnes’ survival on human skin, and is an important beneficial factor for the host-commensal interaction. Thus, RoxP is the first described skin microbiota-derived mutualistic factor that potentially can be exploited for human skin protection.

 

Humans as Superorganisms: How Microbes, Viruses, Imprinted Genes shapes Our Behavior

You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
—The Borg, Star Trek: The Next Generation

For entire last century and till now, we were groomed with a high human EGO. We are educated to see illusion of our body separate from the world. This delusion did not just went against our health but also developed destructive ideas which are right now creating havoc on earth.

What is the way ahead?

Break the illusion and develop new insight about our existence i.e. Human as a super-organism complex.

To understand better, consider beehive as super-organism. Anthill as super-organism. They do share their social decisions. They do work like one entity.

Img src: http://darwinian-medicine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/modern-lifestyle-microbiome.jpg
Img src: http://darwinian-medicine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/modern-lifestyle-microbiome.jpg

Unbeknownst to many people, our emotions, cognition, behavior, and mental health are influenced by a large number of entities that reside in our bodies while pursuing their own interests, which need not coincide with ours. Such entities include microbes, viruses, foreign human cells, and imprinted genes regulated by virus like elements. This article provides a broad overview, aimed at a wide readership, of the consequences of our coexistence with these entities. Its aim is to show that we are not unitary individuals in control of ourselves but rather “holobionts” or superorganisms—meant here as collections of human and nonhuman elements that are to varying degrees integrated and, in an incessant struggle, jointly define who we are.

Read this[1] research paper and learn to self with different outlook. I bet, if you alter your outlook towards self and others, we will have far better life than what we have right now. Take care.
If I take opportunity to connect the dots, as per Ayurveda, this body is nothing but infinite rhythms (नाड़ी) working together based on Pranic Intelligence (प्राणमय शरीर). Many of such rhythms form cells-complex and organs and many remain as separate organisms like microbes, viruses etc. Ultimately, it is प्राण that is controlling the physical body.

[1] Do read this: http://www.psy.unipd.it/~kramer/files/KramerBressan2015.pdf

In computer engineering, I learned bottom up approach. Just like that, we emerge as 1 single universe. 1 Mind divided into many…and that goes on to the infinity level. 🙂

Our body is just one state in between. 🙂 (Y)

So you and me, we all, are related. Are actually one super-organism like how trillions+ microbes and worms are part of each one of us.

And when some of the microbes forget their duty towards super-organism i.e. our body, we get sickness, same way, when some of us forget duties towards the universe,yet another state of super-organism, we get pollution, wars, weapons etc.

http://dailynous.com/2015/07/24/we-are-not-human-individuals/

 

Gau Gavya and Gau-Raksha

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When someone represent गौ-रक्षक in negative image, my blood boils. As a leader, I should actually promote that every citizen should be गौ-रक्षक!

गाय & गव्य
गाय & गव्य

Gavya is a Sanskrit word. It has multiple meanings. It is actually a bridge between different forms of Gau.

Gau means Cow. Gau means senses. Gau means mother Earth. Gavya is their prasad. One produces and another consumes. Cycle goes on forever.

गौ रक्षक
गौ रक्षक

Panchgavya is elixir from Gau, for Gau (Human senses and Mother Earth). Result again is Gavya (Seva from Humans and produce from Mother earth) from gau, for Gau (Cow).

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Method of preparation
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Pancha-Gavya and Gau Raksha
Pancha-Gavya and Gau Raksha

Panchagavya, an organic product has the potential to play the role of promoting growth and providing immunity in plant system. Panchagavya consists of nine products viz. cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd, jaggery, ghee, banana, Tender coconut and water. When suitably mixed and used, these have miraculous effects.

Cow dung – 7 kg
Cow ghee – 1 kg
Mix the above two ingredients thoroughly both in morning and evening hours and keep it for 3 days

Cow Urine – 10 liters
Water – 10 liters
After 3 days mix cow urine and water and keep it for 15 days with regular mixing both in morning and evening hours. After 15 days mix the following and panchagavya will be ready after 30 days.

Cow milk – 3 liters
Cow curd – 2 liters
Tender coconut water – 3 liters
Jaggery – 3 kg
Well ripened poovan banana – 12 nos.

Read more: http://agritech.tnau.ac.in/org_farm/orgfarm_panchakavya.html

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We all have Vishnu seated in us. We must perform duties in his form. Being Gopati.

Microbes and Food Security

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After 100 years of ignorance, modern intellect has started accepting role of Prana in sustaining life. Whether we accept or not due to our brainwashed mindset, Prana is the enabler. We must revive traditions respecting Prana.

Microbes ? Prana.

Fungus ? Prana.

For plants, Muladhara is in roots. Roots are protected by Soil. Their Ganapati resides in soil!

ganapati

The microbial sciences have provided great advances in our understanding of foodborne pathogens, leading to prescriptions for food safety standards and giving lawmakers and policy experts ways  to protect human populations. However, when looking at the global community, it’s hard to ignore an even greater issue when it comes to food: the food insecurity that an estimated 795 million people grapple with on a daily basis, worldwide (FAO, The State of Food Insecurity 2015).

If we look a bit closer, we see that these issues cannot be measured solely on the number of people who have a certain level of caloric intake. Specifically, when looking at micronutrient deficiencies throughout the world, those numbers balloon to more than 2 billion people (USAID, Opportunities for Micronutrient Interventions). That would be the equivalent of more than 1 in 3 people you encounter on a daily basis being nutrient deficient.

While discussions about tackling these challenges often exclude or skim the surface of the role of microbes, microbiology, and in particular harnessing microbe-plant symbionts, has the potential to spark a second “Green Revolution.”

Fungal endophytes live in symbiosis with a vast majority of plant species on earth, and with the vast majority of the plant species humans cultivate for agricultural purposes. These symbionts have co-evolved for hundreds of millions of years, and formed some of the earliest symbioses on land.

Dr. Rusty Rodriguez and his team are one of the groups leading the charge in studying fungal endophytes and the ways in which we can harness their vast potential in agriculture. According to Dr. Rodriguez, there are at least four areas where microbes can be utilized to address issues of food security:

1. Symbiotic and free-living organisms can provide nitrogen and phosphorous to plants.
2. Symbiotic and free-living microorganisms can provide disease protection.
3. Symbiotic microorganisms can alter plant physiology and increase metabolic efficiency.
4. Symbiotic microorganisms can confer abiotic stress tolerance to plants.

Dr. Rodriguez and his team have used these principles in creating fungal inoculants for a number of important crop species, including rice and corn. To learn more, read Dr. Rusty Rodriguez’s full article in Cultures!

Scientists are also finding ways to use microbes to grow other key crops around the world. In this Cultures video, Dr. Ian Sanders and Dr. Alia Rodriguez show us how they are using the same principles to harness fungal endophytes to improve cassava production, a crop that feeds nearly a billion people worldwide!

Could microbes be the key to ensuring a food secure future? Comment below!

 

http://www.asm.org/index.php/cultures-blog/item/463-microbes-and-food-security-green-revolution-2-0

 

Utter Nonsense called Darwinian competition

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proal2009ica.003

For almost entire past century, modern science fooled us by sharing fancy numbers of genes we possess.

The count started with 100000 and now reduced to 19000. I am sure, it will further reduce.

Why am I damn sure?

Your body is composed of an estimated 30 trillion human cells, but it is host to more than 100 trillion bacterial and fungal cells, the friendly microbes that coevolved with our species. Think about that: right now in your body bacterial cells substantially outnumber your own human cells.
If you are host to 100 trillion microbes and each microbe is a tiny genetic machine, how many genes are cranking away within your resident microbes and what are those genes doing?

The shift of numbers is from our genes to microbial genes. In other words, 99 percent of the unique genes in your body are bacterial, and only about 1 percent are human.

We acquire microbial genes, not only from parents but from environment i.e. our foster mother, Mother Nature.

And for healthy life, it is critical to live in healthy environment.

Sheer presence[1] of microbial world in our Body proves one thing for sure that idea of ‘dog-eat-dog world of Darwinian competition’ is utter nonsense. Sadly, same survival of the fittest idea is so much ingrained in our psyche by modern education that we waste precious youth life in chasing false alarms and unnecessary competitions.

Life is about living for each other, helping each other. Darwinian illusion is catastrophic. Unlearn it..If we cannot unlearn, we are like those pathogens who make us feel sick selfish and self-centered.

[1] Your body is composed of an estimated 30 trillion human cells, but it is host to more than 100 trillion bacterial and fungal cells, the friendly microbes that coevolved with our species. Think about that: right now in your body bacterial cells substantially outnumber your own human cells.
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Multiple evidence strands suggest that there may be as few as 19 000 human protein-coding genes

https://academic.oup.com/hmg/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/hmg/ddu309

Determining the full complement of protein-coding genes is a key goal of genome annotation. The most powerful approach for confirming protein-coding potential is the detection of cellular protein expression through peptide mass spectrometry (MS) experiments. Here, we mapped peptides detected in seven large-scale proteomics studies to almost 60% of the protein-coding genes in the GENCODE annotation of the human genome. We found a strong relationship between detection in proteomics experiments and both gene family age and cross-species conservation. Most of the genes for which we detected peptides were highly conserved. We found peptides for >96% of genes that evolved before bilateria. At the opposite end of the scale, we identified almost no peptides for genes that have appeared since primates, for genes that did not have any protein-like features or for genes with poor cross-species conservation. These results motivated us to describe a set of 2001 potential non-coding genes based on features such as weak conservation, a lack of protein features, or ambiguous annotations from major databases, all of which correlated with low peptide detection across the seven experiments. We identified peptides for just 3% of these genes. We show that many of these genes behave more like non-coding genes than protein-coding genes and suggest that most are unlikely to code for proteins under normal circumstances. We believe that their inclusion in the human protein-coding gene catalogue should be revised as part of the ongoing human genome annotation effort.

Pathogens shape your Behaviour: Immunity and Being Social

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They shape out social behaviour
They shape out social behaviour IMAGE SOURCE: https://www.mtyhd.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/immunity-against-diseases_Gk5Lduu_-GS.jpg

General understanding about immunity is very naive based on the memes spread by modern science custodians in last 100 years. So far, it used to be function preventing us from unforeseen illnesses. Protecting us from pathogens. That is it, right?

It is high time we understand the roots of immunity.

Sanskrit word मुनि means anyone who is moved by inward impulses. Someone who is self-inspired. Someone who is performing duties intuitively.

Now let us understand Latin: Latin word Munis (early *moinis, moenis) has as its principal meaning someone who discharges his office/duty, somebody accomplishing a tasks also contained is the connotation present, gift. Related to it are im-munis (with its derivative im-munitas {immunity}, that is, the exemption from charge or duty.

So in our body, all active cells are Muni(s) or मुनि ((S). They are working as per self-inspiration based on cellular intelligence they carry from birth. Immunity is the process of retiring cells from their duties. Why do we need it?

We need it because their job is over. To maintain the integrity of the body, it is necessary to give them good bye. This process of good bye is a Immune response. This is called Innate immunity. Sometimes, when external conditions are not good, cells die prematurely or their processing is affected severely. So they broadcast messages for help or to alert others in cell community. We call it Viruses. Viruses are dead information. They are not मुनि. They are born to get uprooted once message is conveyed to other cells. We call it viral infection. When severe condition persists for cells, they die prematurely. We call it bacterial infection.

In short, integrity of organism is essential for Muni(s) or Body cell to perform tasks. To help them immune system perform immunity process.

So-called immune system knows which part of the body is self, and what is not-self. A self-marker or a suimarker is endowed to each self-element, an advantage not denied to an alien unit or cell present at the time of thymic maturation.

So when immunity is compromised (मुनि characteristic of us), it is trauma and stress for each individual cell/bacteria/देव/पितर participating in our existence! Summation of it, emerges as anti-social behaviour! And that is what this paper talks about!

At the same time, it is our social interactions as a child, that shapes our immunity (our sense of identifying self from rest).  And as immunity is strengthen, we become and remain social.

SHOCKING NEW ROLE FOUND FOR THE IMMUNE SYSTEM: CONTROLLING SOCIAL INTERACTIONS

https://news.virginia.edu/content/shocking-new-role-found-immune-system-controlling-social-interactions?utm_source=VirginiaHome&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=news

“The brain and the adaptive immune system were thought to be isolated from each other, and any immune activity in the brain was perceived as sign of a pathology. And now, not only are we showing that they are closely interacting, but some of our behavior traits might have evolved because of our immune response to pathogens,” explained Jonathan Kipnis, chair of UVA’s Department of Neuroscience. “It’s crazy, but maybe we are just multicellular battlefields for two ancient forces: pathogens and the immune system. Part of our personality may actually be dictated by the immune system.”

The UVA researchers have shown that a specific immune molecule, interferon gamma, seems to be critical for social behavior and that a variety of creatures, such as flies, zebrafish, mice and rats, activate interferon gamma responses when they are social. Normally, this molecule is produced by the immune system in response to bacteria, viruses or parasites. Blocking the molecule in mice using genetic modification made regions of the brain hyperactive, causing the mice to become less social. Restoring the molecule restored the brain connectivity and behavior to normal. In a paper outlining their findings, the researchers note the immune molecule plays a “profound role in maintaining proper social function.”

 

“It’s extremely critical for an organism to be social for the survival of the species. It’s important for foraging, sexual reproduction, gathering, hunting,” said Anthony J. Filiano, Hartwell postdoctoral fellow in the Kipnis lab and lead author of the study. “So the hypothesis is that when organisms come together, you have a higher propensity to spread infection. So you need to be social, but [in doing so] you have a higher chance of spreading pathogens. The idea is that interferon gamma, in evolution, has been used as a more efficient way to both boost social behavior while boosting an anti-pathogen response.”

Now, we see viruses, bacteria and mosquitos as our enemies. Think about it. Are they our enemies? Or they are mother nature’s faithful workers shaping our immunity! (self-realization! Moksha! What not! It starts with the physical self!)

 

 

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