I like this word because it expresses that we are both together in this, part of what makes us whole. Bacteria have affected us and we are definitely negatively affecting bacteria with our antibiotic use, and that is not helping our health or weight in the long run. Bacteria are not the enemy- although of course there can be "bad" bacteria, but that usually happens when we kill the good bacteria through some method. But maybe, this discovery and other research that antibiotics makes our children fatter and more obese (Teresa Ajslev, International Journal of Obesity, DOI:10.10.1038/ijo2011.27) may actually shift this negative pattern of antibiotic over-use. One way to combat this problem was to find and cultivate "good" ancient or non-antibiotic stressed bacteria.
The bacteria from ancient human sources was compared to modern humans and primates in another study presented in the article. Asking the question of how much has the gut bacteria changed over time, by extracting human faeces bacteria samples from 1000-3000 year old mummies, a 5000 year old tyrolean iceman, modern humans, rural African children and primates. What is fascinating is that the results showed a huge difference in gut-flora DNA when ancient bacterial DNA was compared to that in modern western humans. Not surprisingly, there was not as much difference between rural Africans or primate bacterial DNA and ancient human's bacterial DNA. This gives us hope that we can readjust our microbiome (the bacterial colony as a whole) in our bodies, and treat biomes and bacteria as a part of us, that needs nurturing and care, and not aggression and attacking. We must learn to treat the separate parts as part of the whole.
As Zen Master Seng-chao (384-414) is reported to have said: 'Heaven and Earth come from the same root as myself; All things and I belong to one Whole.'