First of all, wow. I would never ever willingly consume stomach parasites as a form of therapy or treatment. For me it is likened to that of leeching as a barbaric form of treatment. However, the results of Loke’s study are shocking and bizarre. He found that ulcerative colitis symptoms can be significantly reduced with helminths infection because the worms stimulate mucus production and prevent bad bacteria from spreading. Although the results of his experiment are compelling, the article from Scientific American makes a great point that the sample size is just one. I am not sure a big enough sample size can be achieved because not many people would be willing to submit their bodies to parasitic infection, and even so it would risk bias because it could not be a double blind study. I am surprised that enough people were willing to participate in the trials that the article describes! As for the Microbe magazine article and the chapters we read for this week, I am convinced. When we are exposed to more germs are immune system functions better, when we are not exposed to germs our immune system is not going to be able to handle germs when we eventually run into them. It makes sense. In a past anthropology class I learned that obsessive hygiene around new borns and younger children, parents who attack their children with wet wipes, those children have been shown to have lesser immune systems than their dirty counterparts. The microbe article described that in rural farming areas significantly less children have hay fever and allergy disorders, and I for one would like to take this moment to scold my parents for living in an urban area since my severe seasonal allergies are such a pain in my neck. The section on vaccinations in Chapter 8 made me cringe, I would be absolutely terrified to receive an active vaccination or to be around someone who has received it. As we discussed in class and as mentioned in the text, when the majority of school children are vaccinated some who go unvaccinated can coast by. When not enough are vaccinated diseases and infections can be life threatening to those unvaccinated. When parents today are unwilling to vaccinate due to falsified myths this can be a huge problem for their children and others. After reading these texts, especially after the information on helminth therapy, I have a psycho somatic stomach ache!