Guts in the pub – Sydney SitP February 1

Have you ever had a gut feeling about your health?

The next Skeptics in the Pub meeting in Sydney on February 1 will take a look inside the myths and misconceptions about the microbiome and probiotics, with a touch of poo transplants on the way.

Dr Andrea Leong is a microbiologist with an interest in finding ways to reduce antibiotic use. Her PhD thesis looked at surface coatings that repel and kill bacteria by using antimicrobial peptides, a class of molecule that could prove to be an alternative to conventional antibiotics.

She will talk about the microbiome, that collection of bacteria which lives in our guts. She will examine the tasty topic of faecal transplants as a medical treatment and do some fact checking on “common knowledge” about the bacteria we can’t live without: are we carrying around 10 bacterial cells for each one of our own cells? Does our microbiome affect our mood?

The second part of Andrea’s talk is on probiotics: what are they, how are they different from pre-biotics, and do they work?

Andrea currently works in microbiome research for a company in Sydney, with the aim of finding out more about how the human body and gut bacteria interact with each other in health and disease. She is also is the leader of the New South Wales branch of the Science Party and plays percussion in a protest band.

The Sydney Skeptics in the Pub meetings are held at the Occidental Hotel in York Street in the city (opposite Wynyard Park). Talks normally begin at about 7.30pm. No fees, no tickets, just turn up and share some gut feelings.

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