Brain microbiome

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Human brains, presumably mammal brains in general, do not have microbiomes. If they did, they would look like Donald Sutherland in that movie.

Also, a microbiome is not the same thing as an infection. A microbiome is a mutualistic (or similar) ecology of multi-celled organisms or part thereof (like, your gut or your eyeballs or something) and microbes, probably including multiple species or varieties. Brains do not have that. If there are microbes in the brain it is an infection.

There is some interesting research out there possibly linking infections and Alzheimers. It is unfortunately being couched in terms of microbiomes. Why? Mainly because science reporters are generally not scientists, so they don’t bump on errors like that? Maybe. But in this case, there seems to be an actual project that claims to be actually mapping out the brain’s microbiome, including “helpful” organisms.

Here is the article from the Harvard Gazette

And here is a Twitter Feed confirming what I say above.

If you have evidence to the contrary please post it below.

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4 thoughts on “Brain microbiome

  1. Oh man.
    Who is claiming a microbiome and why?
    Article title. Leafless Eucalyptus.
    Essay begins.

    Eucalyptus do have leaves.
    Here’s some research that says they do.
    Link to some research on the colour of Eucalyptus leaves.
    Link to image of a twitter page thingy that says Eucalyptus have leaves as a retort to a simple claim they don’t have leaves by an unnamed person.

    It’s utterly pointless isn’t it without some sort of detail on a theory Eucalyptus do not have leaves.
    It’s sorta creating an argument where none exists. If one exists then lay it out.
    The Gazette link never mentions microbiome.
    I’ve never considered the idea, but am none the wiser for it.
    All there is a picture of some twitter shit with some words on it. Means fuck all.
    I’m sorry Greg but this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen you compile as a writer about science. It’s vacuous.
    I’m interested though. So could you please do a writeup on brain microbiomes theory (and contrary evidence.)
    You must be interested too. That’s why you titled an article as such.
    Maybe check up on available lessons at that
    Alan Alda science communicating school.
    Damn this is disappointing.

    1. Look Greg, I wish to apologise for my bad attitude displayed above.
      I’ve been arguing with conspiratist yank climate deniers on a super shit format called disqus and their science articulation is waaay worse than my own very limited writing ability and then I saw your thing
      and snapped a bit cuz it came across as vacuous as some of denier shit I’d just been reading.
      I shouldn’t have commented at all when feeling pissed off already.

      Li D

    2. The Gazette article notes that the project name is the “Brain Microbiome Project” and refers in one other spot to the microbiome being out of whack.

      I was aware while writing this up that I could spend more time documenting the context and structure. But my main goal was to get the words “microbiome” and “brain” out on the google-o-sphere in at least one context questioning the idea, quickly.

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