Bugs ‘R’ Us

Listen to "Bugs ‘R’ Us"


Raw Milk Delivery, Pondicherry, 2006


Many bacteria are not only our friends, they are also essential for our health and well-being. Professor Susan Lynch explains the intricacies and complexities of how the bacteria in our intestines interact with our physiology.  She describes the importance of exposure to the proper bacteria prenatally and in the first year of life.  Simmy Makhijani shares her experience with using bacteria supplements known as probiotics.


bugs ‘r’us
candidaly speaking
there is surely a segmentus filamentus
among us
while clostridium remains
frustratingly difficile,
salmonella entirely enteritica,
and escheria absolutely so coli
by and by bifida
begins a round
to the tune of kumbaya
my bacterium
modulating me
modulating you
lactobacillus joins in
followed by fusobacterium
before you could think about it again
ruminococcus starts singing along
and soon we’ve got
symbiosis, my bacteroides, symbiosis
-jaysi, 2011


Author Spotlight

Bugs in our Guts

Susan Lynch, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in Residence at the University of California San Francisco having earned a doctoral degree in molecular microbiology from the University of Dublin, Ireland. She is interested in understanding the complex interactions between humans and the bacteria that live in the human intestines. Her group has identified specific bacteria that are strongly associated with chronic inflammatory diseases. Her efforts are focused on two areas of research: comprehensive analyses of the structure and function of the intestinal bacteria related to chronic inflammatory bowel disease, and early life exposure to bacteria that shape the developing neonatal immune system and impact subsequent allergic disease development.Read Full
Author Spotlight

Probiotic Supplement Use

Simmy Makhijani is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of United Roots (unitedrootsoakland.org) and member of the Art in Action collective. She also serves on the board for the American Musical Heritage Foundation. She has completed her Ph.D. coursework in the Social and Cultural Anthropology Department at the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA. Her areas of specialization and research interests include: music as catalyst for thought, action, and social change; anti-racist/anti-patriarchy political and social struggles in the U.S.; postcolonial and feminist theory; gender and violence; immigration history and law; human rights, cultural survival, minority issues and economic justice; globalization, development and state accountability.Read Full