140 thousand viruses found in human guts, according to reports in ScienceDaily 18 February 2021, Science Alert 28 February 2021, and Cell 19 February 2021 doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.01.029. 

Scientists at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have analysed 28,060 samples of gut microbiomes from around the world and found 142,809 bacteriophage viruses.  Bacteriophages are a type of virus that infect bacteria, and are thought to regulate the activity of bacteria and have a role in maintaining the health of the human digestive system.  Many of the viruses had not been previously identified. 

Alexandre Almeida explained: “It’s important to remember that not all viruses are harmful, but represent an integral component of the gut ecosystem. For one thing, most of the viruses we found have DNA as their genetic material, which is different from the pathogens most people know, such as SARS-CoV-2 or Zika, which are RNA viruses. Secondly, these samples came mainly from healthy individuals who didn’t share any specific diseases. It’s fascinating to see how many unknown species live in our gut, and to try and unravel the link between them and human health.”

Links: Science Alert, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment:  We are now discovering about viruses what we have previously found true about bacteria and other microbes – the vast majority are harmless, and are have a helpful role in maintaining the health of individual living creatures, including humans, and the ecosystems they live in. 

The fact that we have not previously identified many viruses, and do not know their function, is partly because we didn’t have the technology needed to study them in detail, but mostly because they weren’t doing us any harm so we didn’t go looking for them.  Things that work quietly in the background tend to go unnoticed. 

Disease causing microbes came to our notice only because they made us ill.  The reason microbes make us ill has invariably turned out to be some kind of degeneration of the microbes, and/or the human immune system, or they have ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time, e.g. if humans eat things they weren’t originally designed to eat in the very good world that God originally made, which has been ruined by human sin.

Creation Research News 17 March 2021

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