Gomez research part of HBO-VICE series

CFANS Department of Animal Science Assistant Professor Andres Gomez, will be a part of short documentary that airs on HBO Friday, October 6, 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. The VICE 82 documentary is the HBO segment that features Gomez’s work with microbiome research.

The segment explores how western populations have lost substantial diversity in their gut microbiomes compared to populations living under traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Gomez travels to central Africa and is joined by two other microbiome researchers as they compare the microbiomes between the BaAka hunter-gatherers and a nearby group that are agriculturalists. Through these comparisons they explain the loss of microbiome diversity in industrialized populations in the context of westernized diets, modern lifestyles, increased sanitation, and modern disease patterns.

VICE first approached Gomez and his colleague Ran Blekhman from the College of Biological Sciences about appearing in the series after learning about their published work in Cell Reports that featured their research on the microbiome. (Gut Microbiome of Coexisting BaAka Pygmies and Bantu Reflects Gradients of Traditional Subsistence Patterns). Gomez hopes that this segment will further expose the general population to understanding the importance of the microbiome, particularly how they have changed as humans have acquired different lifestyles and the correlation with the rise of modem diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.