NATURE VERSUS NURTURE: EPIGENETICS AND THE MICROBIOME Explain how microbiome research provides a new perspective on the nature versus nurture debate. Discuss how the infant microbiome is related to future development of a child, including cognition and health. In addition, explain the broader social implications of this type of research. Finally, share your prediction of and rationale for what future microbiome research may discover.

Nature versus Nurture is a long-standing debate in the field of biology, psychology and sociology, that addresses the extent to which genetic and environmental factors influence human development. Recent advances in microbiome research have provided a new perspective on this debate by highlighting the impact of microorganisms on human development and health.

The infant microbiome is formed shortly after birth and is influenced by various factors, such as delivery mode, diet, and antibiotics exposure. Research has shown that the composition of the infant microbiome is associated with a wide range of future outcomes, including cognition and health. For example, studies have shown that changes in the infant microbiome can lead to increased risk of developing certain diseases later in life, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and allergies.

The broader social implications of microbiome research are significant as it provides new insights into how social determinants of health, such as poverty and food insecurity, can impact the development and health of children. Additionally, it highlights the importance of public health interventions to promote healthy development of the microbiome, such as exclusive breastfeeding, limiting antibiotic exposure, and promoting diverse and nutritious diets.

In the future, microbiome research is likely to uncover new and exciting insights into the role of microorganisms in human development and health. For example, researchers may identify specific microbial strains or metabolic pathways that are associated with improved health outcomes. Additionally, microbiome research may also lead to new therapies and interventions to promote healthy microbial communities and prevent disease.

Microbiome research provides a new and exciting perspective on the nature versus nurture debate and highlights the importance of considering the role of microorganisms in human development and health.

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