ACR 2014: General Themes from the ACR Basic Research Conference: Emerging Perspectives on the Microbiome in Rheumatic Diseases (Nov 14-15, 2014, Boston, MA)

This was a pre-conference course with leading researchers presenting their cutting edge work on the interplay of the microbiome, immunity and disease. I’m dog tired after sitting and concentrating for hours but I want to jot down some quick thoughts on the general themes that emerged:

What is the Microbiome and Why Should You Care?

The incidence of autoimmune disease is skyrocketing and we don’t understand why. The incidence of type 1 diabetes is doubling every 20 years and that’s too fast for “genetic drift” to be the cause. The answer lies with something in the environment, but what? And how would that environmental trigger cause autoimmune disease, anyway? The …