So I'm watching the 1976 "the boy in the plastic bubble" and it got me thinking.. there is a scene where he says hje doesnt take showers and doesnt smell because there are no germs...

So if people who are in sterile tooms all their life are truely germ free... that must mean all sorts of things... no BO, you never smell, do you even need to brush your teeth, you wouldnt get plaque or anything if there are no germs to consume the food on your teeth... Does it also mean they have no gut bacteria..

and aside from all those dise effects, which im curious about... how do you even steralize a human in the first place, even if they are born that way and go in from birth, surely your born with bacteria on you.. how do you steralize a human and if you cant how do they not die from this...

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@freemo Yeah, I've long had some questions about this myself. I remember that movie when it came out.

Our digestive system is entirely dependent on the microbes that live in our gut. Our mouth and stomach add enzymes and acid, and mix it up to get the process moving. But the heavy lifting is done by our gut microbiome. We can't survive without it. So I've always been puzzled about the sterile environment thing. Maybe they're not counting gut bacteria as pathogens?

I'm an engineer. Maybe the answer is obvious to a microbiologist.

@shuttersparks it doesnt add up to me because I know that gut bacteria, out of blaance, can become dangerous (though that is rare)... so I dunno.

@freemo someone who knows more about this than me , , could tell you whether a 'sterile' human could survive or even exist. How was the bubble boy fed? Did he receive intravenous nutrition?

Healthy humans carry 1.5 kg of a diverse selection of bacteria in their intestines (the microbiota), which have an important role in maintaining health. A healthy diet maintains a healthy gut microbiome, and we are only just beginning to understand the importance of these bacteria.

It is not only the gut that carries a commensal bacterial load, any body cavity linked to the external environment will carry a non-pathogenic community of bacteria, including the uterus. This means, we are likely to be exposed to placental bacteria in the womb. Once exposed in the womb I don't know how a human would be subsequently 'sterilised' of bacteria.

I stand to be corrected by those with the knowledge!

@Renshaw01 I always assumed he was fed regular food that was steralized.. steralizing food at least is easy, we do it with can food all the time

But yea, your points are my own, would love some answers...

@freemo Not only ON you. A lot of bacteria are inside and people can't live without them.

@freemo Haven't seen the movie, but is it an actual kid? If he's pre-pubescent, then the pituitary glands aren't fully developed and BO would be *much* less of a problem. Mix that with a lack of dirt and physical exercise, and I could see the need for exceedingly few showers.

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