Why you should listen
Using scatological research methods that might repel the squeamish, microbial researcher Rob Knight uncovers the secret ecosystem (or "microbiome") of microbes that inhabit our bodies -- and the bodies of every creature on earth. In the process, he’s discovered a complex internal ecology that affects everything from weight loss to our susceptibility to disease. As he said to Nature in 2012, "What motivates me, from a pragmatic standpoint, is how understanding the microbial world might help us improve human and environmental health.”
Knight’s recent projects include the American Gut, an attempt to map the unique microbiome of the United States using open-access data mining tools and citizen-scientists to discover how lifestyle and diet affect our internal flora and fauna, and our overall health.
Knight is the author of the TED Book, Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes.
What others say
“Faeces, lizards, keyboards, faces -- Rob Knight likes to sequence the microbes on anything and everything. Next, he plans to sequence Earth.” — Nature, July 11, 2012
Rob Knight’s TED talk
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In this excerpt from his TED Book, microbial researcher Rob Knight shares his -- and other scientists' -- work to understand the human microbiome -- and the key diseases in which it now seems that microbes may play a part, including inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and allergies and asthma.Continue reading