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The human gut microbial genome encodes for several metabolic processes that are not encoded for in the human genome. Through the study of metagenomics, mice, and human models, researchers have shown that changes in the gut bacterial composition can generate oxidative stress, release endotoxins, and induce lipogenesis. These pathways can disrupt normal metabolic function, resulting in obesity and other related metabolic disorders such as diabetes. Most of the health implications associated with obesity originate from the biological reactions carried out by the gut bacteria, which are strongly impacted by environmental factors. Probiotics, prebiotics and fecal transplantation are methods that can be used to replace destroyed microbes due to environmental impacts. Several other diseases can originate from disruptions in the gut bacterial community, thus future research must be conducted.


Senior Seminar Paper, BI-399. Advisor, Dr. Thomas Terleph.



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