University of Cambridge > > BioSoc Talks > 10% Human - How your body's microbes hold the key to health and happiness - Dr Alanna Collen

10% Human - How your body's microbes hold the key to health and happiness - Dr Alanna Collen

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Mirte Kuijpers.

For our first – and in-person – talk of the term, we are joined by Dr Alanna Collen, evolutionary biologist and zoologist (UCL, ZSL ), and a prominent science writer featured in the Times, Guardian and BBC . Dr Collen is perhaps best known for her popular science book on microbiomes, after which her talk is named. Here is an abstract of the talk:

‘The role of the microbiome has become a hot topic in recent years, as scientists have uncovered the complex interactions between microbes and human cells, particularly in our guts. We now know that a huge range of chronic illnesses, particularly affecting people in the West, are in part the result of damage to our microbiomes. Obesity, diabetes, allergies, autoimmunity and even mental health conditions and neuropsychiatric illnesses are all known to be connected to the gut microbiome. But, as I will explain, we can prevent this damage to our microbiomes and work to improve our health through our microbes.’

Alanna’s book will be available to purchase, and she will be signing copies! Due to limits on indoor seating, we will restrict the talk to BioSoc members only – sign up here to attend: Masks will be required throughout, together with maintaining social distancing. If you are not yet a member, sign up here: and email to confirm. Life membership also comes with many other perks, such as discounted books by speakers, and discounted socials in the future – by signing up, you are also helping us to keep our talks open and free for all.

The talk will also be streamed live on Zoom and YouTube – sign up here to attend:

We look forward to seeing you there, either virtually or in-person!

This talk is part of the BioSoc Talks series.

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