I'm a microbiologist at heart, and a card-carrying member of the
American Society for Microbiology. Both excellent reasons to
explain why I get the publication MICROBE.
But I've been back logged on my science reading the last few
months and just got to the September issue that was buried under
stacks budgets and grant ideas. I'm so glad I didn't just file it
away with its buddies, because the very last page of each issue is
Things Considered" in which the newly coined holobiont was
The whole kit and caboodle- including the whole host (think YOU)
and every symbiotic organism living with it (bacteria, viruses,
The cool thing is we often think about evolution based on how
well our gene products allow us to survive in a certain
environment, standard evaluation dogma. But more recently
scientists are realizing its so much bigger than just genetics.
Epigenetics has come along and shaken up how we think about gene
expression, and now the concept of holobionts to shake up how we
think about evolution. Basically, natural selection occurs not just
to the host but the host with all its little buddy symbionts, such
that adaptation and survival are a team effort.
As the saying goes, there's no I in Team, and maybe not in