I'm happy to announce a sister site on Facebook dedicated to understanding who we are as animal-microbe chimeras - who we are beyond the skin we're covered in. Come join us as we track the history and future of the science of the Hologenome - an "eyes up" view of the symbiotic complexity of organisms. The page starts with a 20 year old video on the topic.
A recent publication in PNAS by 26 luminaries in the life sciences echoes the inspiration for the site:
"These new data are demanding a reexamination of the very concepts of what constitutes a genome, a population, an environment, and an organism. Similarly, features once considered exceptional, such as symbiosis, are now recognized as likely the rule, and novel models for research are emerging across biology. As a consequence, the New Synthesis of the 1930s and beyond must be reconsidered in terms of three areas in which it has proven weakest: symbiosis, development, and microbiology (115). One of these areas, microbiology, presents particular challenges both to the species concept, as formulated by Ernst Mayr in 1942, and to the concept that vertical transmission of genetic information is the only motor of selectable evolutionary change"
Where we go from here is up to us. This community site is one additional means to an end to see where the hologenome takes us. Looking forward to seeing you there.