The Extinction Happening Inside You

The Extinction Happening Inside You

Thanks to the University of Minnesota for sponsoring this video!

Our modern lifestyle and diet are leading to the extinction of parts of our microbiome, but we can use what we’ve learned from dealing with nearly-extinct macrobiota, like bald eagles, to understand the consequences and find solutions.

Thanks also to our Patreon patrons and our YouTube members.
To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Extinction: the termination of a kind of organism or group of kinds, usually a species
Endangered: a species that is very likely to become extinct in the near future
Microbiome: a community of microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, and protists) that inhabit a particular environment and especially the collection of microorganisms living in or on the human body
Hunter-gatherer: a member of a culture in which food is obtained by hunting, fishing, and foraging rather than by agriculture or animal husbandry
Prevotella: a genus of bacteria most commonly found in the microbiome of people who eat a plant-rich diet
DDT: an aromatic organochlorine sometimes used as insecticide banned in the U.S. that tends to accumulate and persist in ecosystems and has toxic effects on many vertebrates
C. diff: (short for Clostridium difficile) a toxin-producing bacterium which can infect the bowel, causing illness with diarrhea and fever, especially in people who have been treated with antibiotics
Antibiotics: an antibacterial substance (such as penicillin, cephalosporin, and ciprofloxacin) that is used to treat or prevent infections by killing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria in or on the body
Probiotics: a microorganism that when consumed (as in a food or a dietary supplement) maintains or restores beneficial bacteria to the digestive tract
Subscribe to MinuteEarth on YouTube:
Support us on Patreon:
And visit our website:

Say hello on Facebook:
And Twitter:

And download our videos on itunes:
Credits (and Twitter handles):
Video Writer, Director, and Narrator: Julián Gustavo Gómez (@thejuliangomez)
Video Illustrator: Arcadi Garcia Rius (@garirius)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Kate Yoshida, Ever Salazar, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg, Sarah Berman
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:



De Filippo, Carlotta, et al. “Impact of diet in shaping gut microbiota revealed by a comparative study in children from Europe and rural Africa.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107.33 (2010): 14691-14696.

Gomez, Andres, et al. “Gut microbiome of coexisting BaAka pygmies and bantu reflects gradients of traditional subsistence patterns.” Cell reports 14.9 (2016): 2142-2153.

Hand, Timothy W., et al. “Linking the microbiota, chronic disease, and the immune system.” Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism 27.12 (2016): 831-843.

Harmon, K. “Bugs inside: what happens when the microbes that keep us healthy disappear.” Sci Amer (2009).

Harrison, Christy. “Disappearance of the Human Microbiota: How We May Be Losing Our Oldest Allies.”, American Society for Microbiology, 8 Nov. 2019,

Henson, Shandelle M., et al. “Predator–prey dynamics of bald eagles and glaucous‐winged gulls at Protection Island, Washington, USA.” Ecology and evolution 9.7 (2019): 3850-3867.

Jacobson, Rebecca. “Can We Save Our Body’s Ecosystem from Extinction?.” PBS Newshour (2014).

Rees, Tobias, and Nils Gilman. Opinion | The Silent Microbiome Crisis. The Washington Post, 26 Feb. 2018,

Sonnenburg, Erica D., and Justin L. Sonnenburg. “Starving our microbial self: the deleterious consequences of a diet deficient in microbiota-accessible carbohydrates.” Cell metabolism 20.5 (2014): 779-786.

Tito, Raul Y., et al. “Insights from characterizing extinct human gut microbiomes.” PloS one 7.12 (2012).

Trotter, Bill. Seabirds Declining as Eagles in Maine Recover. Bangor Daily News, 6 Aug. 2011,

US Fish and Wildlife Service. “Bald eagle recovery plan (southwestern population).” US Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1982).

Velasquez-Manoff, Moises. “How the Western Diet Has Derailed Our Evolution.” Nautilus (2015).

%d bloggers like this: