Monday, October 20, 2014

Redefining Human MOVIE: Science Communication Done Differently


Soon we'll have a special podcast interview with Jamie Binns from Root House, the producers of a new series of mini movies and a larger movie called 'REDEFINING HUMAN' and the role of our gut microbiota has on our lives, planet and health. Matt and I were really excited to talk to Jamie and find out what they are doing in the next year. Their goal is to allow normal citizens like you and I to direct and influence science by many direct interactions, contact and conversations with gut researchers. Their esteemed co-collaborators are: AmGut, U of CO Boulder and U of Chicago. Many AMA sessions (ask-me-anything) with the lead scientists will be created in the future. I suspect the public will love learning in this interactive medium.

With targeted, informed research and understanding the microbiota, both medicine and healthcare with vastly change. Root causes will be better elucidated. I'm so grateful there are visionaries like Jamie and his crew at Redefining Human (because only 10% if human cells)!

One of Jamie's favorite projects is personalized microbiotas -- to provide what is missing (like the ancestral core) after genetic analysis of the microbiota via AmGut or the other means available out there.

The Kickstarter link is:

Many levels of participation are available. I'm going for the case of kombucha UpStart for $150! yay!!

Thanks Jamie for being an advocate for the humble gut microbiota, our tiny friends!!!

To post direct topics, inquiries, microbiota thoughts, please leave a message or note for Jamie at his reddit:

Redefining Human: Science Communication Done Differently
Boulder, CO- Design firm Root House Studio and the CU: Boulder-based American Gut Project launched a Kickstarter campaign on October 15th  to crowdfund a documentary series about American Gut’s revolutionary research on the human microbiomethe trillions of microbes that live in our bodies and challenge what we define as human. The aim of the series is to share information on this little known, yet incredibly important science with the general public, and to inspire the next generation of scientists to study the microbiome.

The documentary series, titled Redefining Human, will use a variety of techniques to make this complex and theoretical science easier to understand. In addition to standard documentary interviews, Root House will utilize their in-house animation team to bring to life scenes which would be nearly impossible to film, such as interactions between bacterial species and the human body. Just as the series Cosmos featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson seeks to use film and animation to explain complex scientific theories on the world beyond, Redefining Human seeks to showcase the complex world within.

Root House wants Redefining Human to be the first crowdfunded and crowdsourced science documentary series. Each episode is funded and guided by the public; using the Redefining Human Twitter and Reddit pages, fans can communicate directly with the documentary team to suggest new content to cover in episodes, critique previous chapters, network with other fans, and offer ways to improve the discussion and discourse of microbiome research.

The long term goal of Root House and Redefining Human is to encourage crowdfunding as a revenue model for science communication. Since very little grant money goes towards disseminating the findings of newly-explored science, groundbreaking research on topics such as the microbiome is often doomed to remain within PhD circles. Contributions to science from billionaires such as Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, and Lawrence Ellison have helped to push research forward (see NYT article here), but crowdfunding is poised to become the next wave that revolutionizes how science is financed.

According to Ian Scott, cofounder of Root House Studio and director of Redefining Human,

By taking matters into their own hands, everyday citizens can fund the research that is important to them and that has a direct impact upon their lives. We want to create a community based around the crowdfunding of science, and the relevance of the microbiome makes Redefining Human a great place to start.”

Root House’s Redefining Human Kickstarter campaign began October 15th, 2014 12 pm EST. If the goal is not met within 30 days, it will not be funded. Those interested in supporting the campaign should use the link below.

For background on this project, please see the additional information provided below.
Kickstarter Link:


What is the Microbiome?
The microbiome is a 100 trillion strong army of bacteria that inhabits our bodies and redefines what we consider “human”. Almost like a microbial organ, the microbiome helps us digest food, regulates our metabolism, and fights off infection. A poorly functioning microbiome has been linked to allergies, obesity, diabetes, and immunodeficiency.
NPR series on the human microbiome:
About the American Gut Project
An offshoot of the Human Microbiome Project, the American Gut Project is a collaboration between the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of Chicago. The American Gut project is mapping the human microbiome and providing open-access data analysis so scientists all over the world can begin to study how the microbiome affects our health. Already the American Gut Project has sampled over 9000 individuals and raised over $572,000 through crowdfunding/crowdswabbing efforts.
Michael Pollan article:
About Root House Studio
Root House is a creative studio whose mission is designing for the greater good. Based in Boulder, Colorado, Root House helps public agencies, organizations, and entrepreneurs produce the media, the aesthetic, and the delivery of their message to ensure it reaches and resonates with their target audience. Root House's designers are story tellers. They use graphics, animation, digital media, built environments and exhibits to craft compelling stories that inspire new outlooks and propel positive change.

For more information, please visit


Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. BG,

I'm a huge fan of your blog and now podcast. I'm writing in an attempt to help my wife who suffers from extreme insomnia, constipation and often anxiety. I believe it is dysbiosis but so far nothing has worked, i think because she continues to eat poorly immediately following or even during treatment (wheat, milk) and drink alcohol. My question is (to you or anyone else reading), if she is going to treat her dysbiosis, which foods must she give up? Is it starches or something else feeding the vipers? I think if she gives it a real go removing these foods and following the 7 steps, she may finally get well. Given her bacteria profile, should she remove starches, fibers, meat, fruit?

Her 2200 GI Effects stool test results are:

Normal all bacterias except low in clostridia and lactobacillus. (AOR 3 gave her a bad reaction and she wouldn't take it, but other SBO's had little effect). Positive for H Pylori and Salmonella. Low fecal sIga (20 - reference is 5 - 161). Hi LCFA's (fat malabsorption). An earlier CDSA revealed Klebsellia Oxytoca. Never any parasites or yeast. She took a strong herbal parasite cleanse for 14 days which had antibacterial properties. A functional med doc suggested ox bile and stomach acid. The problem is she won't stay on anything long enough to see results. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, esp about which foods to not eat during treatment.

Thank you!

Additional info: NutrEval test showed low ammonia, low glutamine/glutamate, low heavy metals, low glutathione, poor toxic exposure.


Dr. B G said...


Thx for your comment. I appreciate the testin info (you read ma mind lol). When there is permeability, the body needs to 'not see' those foods for 2-4 wks or longer, in order to fully heal.

the 7 steps is no: corn, soy, gluten, dairy and nuts. SORRY. This are the most immunogenic foods on earth because of GMO tampering and lack of fermentation processes.

The point is not to 'starve' the flora that eat it but to reduce the reactive immunity against the foods that have likely triggered the sensitive immune system which lies in the gut (the small intestines to be exact).

Her SI is f*kced as u know. This is the epidemic for children and adults in western worlds.

Yes vipers -- HP, salmonella, K oxytoca. Broken digestion which further syncs the vicious cycle. Heavy metals? If so, then further SI degradation because the metals attract vipers.

The 7 steps and seeding/weeding can be transformative. Your wife won't submit until she is at rock bottom ;) That is how it goes. Give up until then, because you should reserve your energy imho. It is not an easy commitment. And there is not easy white powder (as I'm sure you're aware) or even white powder that worsens the gut predicatment by starving the elite protective flora. Inulin can be helpful for IBS-C (constipation) but ~half of K oxytoca eats inulin and can potentially worsen it unless the weeding is sufficient.

The foods if people can tolerate are the inulin rich foods for healing -- blend in a soup and chug. Onions, leeks, sunshokes!! These can squeeze out slamonella and HP combined with probiotics and digestive support.

Bifido and lacto replenishment? The reaction to AOR means there are vipers similar in the SI -- strep, entero, clostridia etc.

I love this bifido:

And rotating with this one (hat tip Eddie for both):