In keeping with the spirit of the following tweets:
Time to brace ourselves for five years of hype on the microbiome: http://t.co/6tvfnhTM Well, we geneticists had our time.— Daniel MacArthur (@dgmacarthur) August 19, 2012
…I offer some predictions about the popular media coverage of human microbiome research over the next few years:
1) Koch’s Postulates will be ‘rediscovered.’ Multiple times.
2) Methods and theories that ecologists, especially community ecologists, have developed during the last half-century will be ‘rediscovered.’ Multiple times.
3) People will incessantly refer to the microbiome as an organ, even though it’s not (and calling it such actually makes things far less interesting to boot).
4) We will realize that the only thing more absurd than underpowered human genomics studies (that is, too few people studied) is drawing far-reaching conclusions based on studies that use one to two dozen inbred mutant mice.
5) In keeping with Hanage’s snark, the mundane observation that the several hundred species that comprise the microbiome contain ORDERZ OF MAGNITOODE MOAR GEENZ!! will be stated so often that it will induce clinical depression in microbiologists.
7) Comradde Physioproffe will refer to it as the ‘fucken microbiomme.’
Seriously, a little scientific humility here would be a good thing.