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Your body contains more than 150 trillion viruses and absorbs about 30 billion viruses a day. That’s what a recent study suggests. Feeling sick yet?
Actually, the viruses we absorb are bacteriophages—bacteria eaters—and they’re the most abundant type of virus in the human body, so there’s no need to panic. Instead of making us sick, phages control the bacteria population in our bodies. Mounting evidence suggests that they protect beneficial bacteria from being destroyed by our immune system, and they stick to mucus and help it protect cells from bacterial attack.
Researcher Jeremy Barr of Monash University, Australia, writing in mBio suggests that these phages provide a whole protection system—a “phageome”—inside the body. It looks like they even interact with the immune system to keep it from attacking healthy tissue and to alert it to incoming pathogens. Some autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease, may result from deficiencies in this phageome.
Very few studies have been conducted on what phages do in our bodies, so our knowledge is in its infancy. But researchers see promise for new treatments from phages in the future.
Evolutionists have too long assumed that organisms arose in a competitive, violent world, so they aren’t looking for signs of designed cooperation. When it comes to viruses, even creation scientists have long puzzled over what role they had before Adam’s sin brought disease into God’s perfect world. The existence of a phageome may be an exciting clue, as a community of organisms work together to sustain life. Only after the Fall did some take on harmful roles.
This article was taken from Answers magazine, March–April, 2018, pg 34.