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Guest lecturer Melanie Martin November 18

Melanie Martin will be giving a guest lecture Nov 18, 2014 at 5:30pm for the evolutionary medicine class and UNM community:

Becoming your microbiome: how early life shapes human microbial composition and function

Melanie Martin is a biological anthropologist who studies how variation in nutritional and microbial ecologies shape infant feeding practices and health outcomes. Since 2009 she has worked with the Tsimane, an indigenous forager-farmer population in the Bolivian Amazon. She has published research on Tsimane maternal milk fatty acid composition and parasitic coinfection risk, and is currently studying how maternal and infant fitness trade-offs influence Tsimane breastfeeding practices. She is also collaborating with researchers at UNM, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Stanford to examine the influence of specific feeding practices on Tsimane infant gut and salivary microbiomes.

Melanie Martin with Tsimane kids

Reading for Tuesday’s talk: 1) Infant Gut Microbiota: Developmental Influences and Health Outcomes by Melanie Martin and David Sela

Visitors may find this map useful – Castetter is #21:


Writing assignment for evolutionary medicine students due Nov. 18th

Up to 20% of the carbohydrate content in breast milk is indigestible by the infant! It might seem paradoxical and wasteful that the mother converts easily digested fuel (glucose) into indigestible milk oligosaccharides. Why doesn’t natural selection decrease or eliminate the production of oligosaccharides in human breast milk?

Additional Recommended Reading:

3) Human milk and infant intestinal mucosal glycans guide succession of the neonatal intestinal microbiota.

Categories: Uncategorized

Joe Alcock

Emergency Physician, Educator, Researcher, interested in the microbiome, evolution, and medicine

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