“The Secret World Inside You” is the name of the new exhibit that explores our hidden world known as the microbiome – a large community of microbes that resides inside humans.
Microbiomes are a significant part of ourselves since out of the trillion cells that live inside us, only about one-tenth are human cells; the rest are microbes, according to scientists. Even so, it is important to note that human cells take up a lot more space than microbes.
In the new museum exhibit, the entrance is a dark tunnel coated with glowing microbes, and inside the exhibit the walls are covered in a pink fabric, made to resemble human tissue.
An interactive table that is 14 feet long (4.3 metres) is the centrepiece of the exhibition. The image of the human body is projected onto it, which shows where all the microbes in our bodies reside. The most flourishing microbe population is, of course, in the gut.
To learn more about individual microbes, the visitors can touch the interactive table. Some of the things people can learn include the way in which microbes help us digest food, how they help regulate the immune system, fight or cause infections.
The ecology of microbes is also taught with the help of the table, for instance how they collaborate with each other, compete, or try to adapt.
Other activities, such as video games, also show the role that microbes play in human health. In a video game, people have to choose different foods to shoot into the stomach and the game reveals how the food choices affect the microbe populations.
“Understanding how the food we eat and the drugs we take changes our microbiome, gives us the power to do something that affects our own health,” Susan Perkins, a microbiologist and museum co-curator, said.
The American Museum of Natural History is known for its exhibitions and research on dinosaurs, mice, birds, and whales. According to museum official, “The Secret World Inside You” is an innovative idea to show a glimpse of what happens within our bodies.
The museum exhibit opens November 7 at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City.
Image Source: nyt