TED Conversations

Ahmed Ben Yaghlen

Student, Youth & Science Association of Tunisia

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Does evolution destroy us?

Evolution occurs when a mutation is beneficial to survival right? Well with us humans, we have civilizations and surviving in our time means being educated and getting a job and making money. Well could the next stage of our evolution be us merging with technology to make us more efficient? Or on a scarier thought, could we create computers and robots that surpass us, take us all out, and those robots continuously build more robots that surpass the last in an exponential growth of inteligence?Could that be the future of human evolution?

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    Jun 22 2013: One possibility for the next level of human evolution will be the evolution of the microbes that live on us and within us. Humans by cell count are 90% microbe and 10% human. Microbes are known to control digestive functions, brain functions (i.e., we create most of the neurotransmitter serotonin in our gut, not our brain), and immunity and we are only just beginning to learn all the ways they affect us. We have 21,000 genes but our combined microbe community contains 8 million and can evolve a lot faster than we can. An interesting article about this here - http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Microbes-The-Trillions-of-Creatures-Governing-Your-Health-204134001.html
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      Jun 26 2013: I read an article on WebMD recently where they review the connection between certain kinds of gut bacteria and atherosclerotic heart disease. They are now using "Fecal transplants" to treat antibiotic resistant gut infections with C. dificile. I'll let the reader look up what a "fecal transplant" is. It works.

      I think we are going to see much more of this in the future. And if we can choose the right mix of bacteria to live in our guts (or even modify the bacteria that live in our guts) we will develop new treatments for human disease and prolong human life.

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