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Op jacht naar oude vrienden

Op jacht naar oude vrienden

Afgelopen najaar bezocht ik Jeff Leach, een Amerikaanse onderzoeker die in Tanzania de (darm)bacteriën van een jagers-verzamelaarsvolk bestudeert, om te leren over de interacties met micro-organismen die ook ons in de loop van onze evolutie vormden. Voor wie niet kan wachten op mijn boek, hier alvast het stuk dat ik over dit fascinerende onderzoek schreef in Science:

Jeff Leach hasn’t showered in a month. Living in a small dome tent close to Lake Eyasi in northern Tanzania, he stopped washing one day because
he wants to know how that will change the microbial populations in and on his body. Leach is taking daily samples of his own stool and skin, which
he carefully stores in a liquid nitrogen tank until they can be shipped to the United States.

Later this month, the 46-year-old graduate student at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) will also adopt the lifestyle of
the local people here. He will sleep in their open grass huts, eat their food, and share their tools, to see if his gut flora become more like theirs.

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- who has written 258 posts on Jopinie – Jop de Vrieze.


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