Humans: 10% Human and 90% Bacterial
We now understand that humans are 90% microbial but only 10% human.
We are moving from a multi-decade focus on killing ALL bacteria via soaps, detergents, antibiotics and hand sanitizer, to a new understanding of the complex bacterial system in our bodies and in the world around us.
We now understand that humans are 90% microbial but only 10% human. The average human has over 100 trillion microbes in and on their body, and many of the latest discoveries are challenging previously held ideas about good and bad bacteria. We are witnessing the shift from a World ruled by the antibacterial obsessed and non-stop antibacterial marketing, to one that has a heightened awareness of the importance of the microbial ecosystem (the microbiome).
In sparks and honey’s recent report, Time to Get Dirty: Why the Ancient Wisdom of Microbes is the Future of Health, we explore five emerging areas that are shaping the conversations and debate around the microbiome.
Understanding an invisible World: microbes have been ignored because they haven’t been understood and because they are invisible to our eyes. This lack of understanding has allowed decades of poor relationships with these microscopic beings. Our modus operandi was to kill them, rather than synchronize with them. The debate over the microbiome will rage on, as the fear of the invisible and little understood will drive the masses in the short-term.
Helicopter parents and Purell: parents have become obsessed with keeping their kids clean – constant washing, sanitizing and keeping the kids out of the dirt. Contrary to popular beliefs, many of these practices not only kill bad bacteria, but also destroy the important good bacteria. Can parents begin to embrace Ancient Wisdom and create a greater balance with the microbial world?
Bacteria and Chronic Illness: Scientists have discovered that allergies, obesity and many other illnesses are linked to our microbiome. We continue to explore the importance of microbe integration during birth, breast-feeding and even contact with nature.
Mapping your MicroBiome: just as we spent the last two decades creating a deeper understanding of our genome, Scientists are now beginning to map our microBiome. Companies such as AmericanGut and uBiome are blazing the trail of microbial research and microbiome mapping.
Microbial Feng Shui: As the latest research in microbiology begins to fuel other industries, we are seeing microbes being leveraged in diet, food, beauty products and even design. Recently, the Ted presentation from Jessica Green explained the important role microbes play in our everyday lives.
This shift is an opportunity to begin to adjust market research, product design, and consumer messaging to work with the recent discoveries in microbiology. Will we soon see a backlash against antibiotics, hand sanitizers, and household cleaning products? Will Modern Families begin to embrace “playing in the dirt” and building a healthy microbial ecosystem for their families?
This backlash will lead to new opportunities for brands that understand how to navigate the shift to a new relationship with our microbiome.
To learn more about the world of the microbe, download our free report here.
sparks & honey is a next generation agency that helps brands synchronize with culture. Follow us on Twitter at @sparksandhoney to stay up to date on the latest high energy trends.
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Why self-control makes your life better, and how to get more of it.
(Photo by Geem Drake/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
- Research demonstrates that people with higher levels of self-control are happier over both the short and long run.
- Higher levels of self-control are correlated with educational, occupational, and social success.
- It was found that the people with the greatest levels of self-control avoid temptation rather than resist it at every turn.
Ready your Schrödinger's Cat Jokes.
- For a time, quantum computing was more theory than fact.
- That's starting to change.
- New quantum computer designs look like they might be scalable.
Quantum computing has existed in theory since the 1980's. It's slowly making its way into fact, the latest of which can be seen in a paper published in Nature called, "Deterministic teleportation of a quantum gate between two logical qubits."
To ensure that we're all familiar with a few basic terms: in electronics, a 'logic gate' is something that takes in one or more than one binary inputs and produces a single binary output. To put it in reductive terms: if you produce information that goes into a chip in your computer as a '0,' the logic gate is what sends it out the other side as a '1.'
A quantum gate means that the '1' in question here can — roughly speaking — go back through the gate and become a '0' once again. But that's not quite the whole of it.
A qubit is a single unit of quantum information. To continue with our simple analogy: you don't have to think about computers producing a string of information that is either a zero or a one. A quantum computer can do both, simultaneously. But that can only happen if you build a functional quantum gate.
That's why the results of the study from the folks at The Yale Quantum Institute saying that they were able to create a quantum gate with a "process fidelity" of 79% is so striking. It could very well spell the beginning of the pathway towards realistic quantum computing.
The team went about doing this through using a superconducting microwave cavity to create a data qubit — that is, they used a device that operates a bit like a organ pipe or a music box but for microwave frequencies. They paired that data qubit with a transmon — that is, a superconducting qubit that isn't as sensitive to quantum noise as it otherwise could be, which is a good thing, because noise can destroy information stored in a quantum state. The two are then connected through a process called a 'quantum bus.'
That process translates into a quantum property being able to be sent from one location to the other without any interaction between the two through something called a teleported CNOT gate, which is the 'official' name for a quantum gate. Single qubits made the leap from one side of the gate to the other with a high degree of accuracy.
Above: encoded qubits and 'CNOT Truth table,' i.e., the read-out.
The team then entangled these bits of information as a way of further proving that they were literally transporting the qubit from one place to somewhere else. They then analyzed the space between the quantum points to determine that something that doesn't follow the classical definition of physics occurred.
They conclude by noting that "... the teleported gate … uses relatively modest elements, all of which are part of the standard toolbox for quantum computation in general. Therefore ... progress to improve any of the elements will directly increase gate performance."
In other words: they did something simple and did it well. And that the only forward here is up. And down. At the same time.
These modern-day hermits can sometimes spend decades without ever leaving their apartments.
- A hikikomori is a type of person in Japan who locks themselves away in their bedrooms, sometimes for years.
- This is a relatively new phenomenon in Japan, likely due to rigid social customs and high expectations for academic and business success.
- Many believe hikikomori to be a result of how Japan interprets and handles mental health issues.
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