I placed a bit of a clue in yesterday’s post, to see if anyone would pick up on it.
You are 99.99% genetically identical to every other human on the planet. Whereas, in terms of your gut microbiome genetic sequence, you can be 90% different from the person next to you.
Nope, at least not that I’ve seen in comments. You had to watch Rob Knight’s TED video to really understand the profundity of the potential, here. Isn’t it amazing that with 99.99% identical human-cell genes, we can have such a variety of features between humans? Tall, short, fast, slow, smart, dumb, blond, black, strong, weak, ugly, and even uglier pink bags of flesh & water draped over frames…and the list goes way on.
And even at such fine (I was going to write “cunt-hair”) genomic margins, we’ve managed to understand a very great deal about what causes those differences. But the thing is, it’s also inviolable. Nothing you can do about it. Sorry guys (and gals, because you know size does matter), penis enlargement is but a fantasy. You’re stunk with your junk.
But how about obesity? To its credit, society hasn’t generally bought into the notion that being fat is the equivalent of being stuck with too large of a penis, too-small tits or, two small-tits.
And with good reason. It turns out that if you gather together a whole bunch of fat & lean people—50% fat, 50% lean—and then look at only their human-cell gene sequence, you’ll predict which are fat and which are lean 6 out of 10 times—one time more out of ten, than just flipping a coin.
How about if you sequence their gut-genome instead? Here’s Rob Knight, at 11:26, via the transcript.
So I mentioned that microbes have all these important functions, and they’ve also now, just over the past few years, been connected to a whole range of different diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, colon cancer, and even obesity. Obesity has a really large effect, as it turns out, and today, we can tell whether you’re lean or obese with 90 percent accuracy by looking at the microbes in your gut. Now, although that might sound impressive, in some ways it’s a little bit problematic as a medical test, because you can probably tell which of these people is obese without knowing anything about their gut microbes, but it turns out that even if we sequence their complete genomes and had all their human DNA, we could only predict which one was obese with about 60 percent accuracy. So that’s amazing, right? What it means that the three pounds of microbes that you carry around with you may be more important for some health conditions than every single gene in your genome.
So, now, using only the gut-cell gene sequence, you go from a correct prediction 6 out of 10 times, to 9 out of 10 times—four times more than random chance, and 300% more predictive (see how I can dazzle with numbers, over just correlations and associations?) than human-cell sequencing. I knew those college courses in statistics would come in handy, someday…. Here’s a clue: ALWAYS gauge what you think you know against random. For, this is precisely how you are manipulated by fucktard News Readers every day, who haven’t a clue.
As a comparison, I tried to get to the bottom of association/correlation for smoking as a comparison, since everyone accepts (rightly) that smoking is bad, though it’s based on highly predictive association / correlation, but though not in the same way that some amount of cyanide injected will absolutely cause death 100% of the time. Or, the guillotine.
But, the whole thing is so tarnished by PC-bullshit that it’s literally difficult to find simple raw data. Moreover, because they can’t technically say that smoking causes lung cancer (since vastly, most lifelong smokers don’t get it and some non-smokers do get it), they say that smoking causes an increased risk.
And this is true. The next time you decide to drive 6 hours somewhere instead of fly, you are causing an increased risk of death. You aren’t causing your death—not like if you injected yourself with cyanide, or blew your brains out—but you have caused a statistically verifiable increase in the chances of your untimely demise.
Statistics are amazingly wonderful in terms of humans being able to gather, categorize, tabulate, crunch, and spit out ideas. But, just like with children, you don’t let them play in a snake pit.
Bottom line? Always make sure you are dealing with associations and correlations, and never let them give rise to absolute causality because they almost never do—except when it’s fucking a priori obvious. All you need is a single lifelong chainsmoker to not get lung cancer to falsify the causality that smoking causes lung cancer. You can’t say “cause” until it’s 100%, 100% of the time. Sorry, words mean things. But, same time, also realize how complex it is even on that 0.01%. A bout of poison ivy, a bea sting, peanuts, and a few other things can cause death or minimally, cause very serious anaphylaxis that can be deadly. And just to fuck with you even more, researchers in Australia temporarily inoculated peanut allergy victims with probiotics.
But it’s very highly associated, and so why go on a fool’s errand for unobtainable causality when you pretty much know it’s as bad as taking car-breakdown refuge on a dark night in a garage with a mysteriously large number of chainsaws hanging from the ceiling (maybe you saw the TV commercial—funny)? That’s the other side of the very powerful sword of epidemiology.
To round it out, we’re very soon going to be seeing fecal transplants from lean people to obese people, and if not in a clinical setting, a DIY setting, if it’s not already happening. I’ll be staying tuned.