CAN THE MICROBIOME AFFECT OTHER ASPECTS OF OUR LIVES?
Recent evidence indicates that the microbiome can affect health and behavior in other ways. The composition of microbes on the skin has been associated with whether people are likely to be bitten by mosquitoes. That is people with certain natural bacteria on their surface are bitten more frequently than those containing other types of natural bacteria. The exact causal relationship between which microbes attract or repel mosquitoes has not been established. Moreover, microbes are not the only attractant for mosquitoes: they also are attracted to carbon dioxide that we emit from our breath. Nonetheless, it explains why, when outdoors, some individuals seem to be bitten preferentially relative to others. Whether the microbiome affects attraction to other organisms, such as pets, or even whether the microbiome can affect attraction among humans remains to be determined.