Dirt Is Good
The Advantage of Germs for Your Child's Developing Immune System
Jack Gilbert, Ph.D., and Rob Knight, Ph.D., with Sandra Blakeslee
St. Martin's Griffin
From two of the world’s top scientists and one of the world’s top science writers (all parents), Dirt Is Good is a q&a-based guide to everything you need to know about kids & germs.
“Is it OK for my child to eat dirt?”
That’s just one of the many questions authors Jack Gilbert and Rob Knight are bombarded with every week from parents all over the world. They've heard everything from “My two-year-old gets constant ear infections. Should I give her antibiotics? Or probiotics?” to “I heard that my son’s asthma was caused by a lack of microbial exposure. Is this true, and if so what can I do about it now?”
Google these questions, and you’ll be overwhelmed with answers. The internet is rife with speculation and misinformation about the risks and benefits of what most parents think of as simply germs, but which scientists now call the microbiome: the combined activity of all the tiny organisms inside our bodies and the surrounding environment that have an enormous impact on our health and well-being. Who better to turn to for answers than Drs. Gilbert and Knight, two of the top scientists leading the investigation into the microbiome—an investigation that is producing fascinating discoveries and bringing answers to parents who want to do the best for their young children. Dirt Is Good is a comprehensive, authoritative, accessible guide you've been searching for.
Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago when a disc-shaped cloud of dust and gas collapsed into a primordial sphere. It was lifeless and molten and reeked of lethal gases. When it finally cooled, a newly solid...