Additional genes sneak in from the outside world

A note for Lesson no. 3, "Little Brains Wire Themselves to Their World," in Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context from page 48‌‌ is:

...a baby’s body requires some additional genes that sneak in from the outside world.

This point refers to the microbiome, which is now a hot topic of research. Here is a handful of scientific references that relate to the microbiome.[1][2][3][4] For an enjoyable read on this topic, see journalist Ed Yong's book, I Contain Multitudes.[5]


  1. Borre, Yuliya E., Gerard W. O’Keeffe, Gerard Clarke, Catherine Stanton, Timothy G. Dinan, and John F. Cryan. 2014. “Microbiota and Neurodevelopmental Windows: Implications for Brain Disorders.” Trends in Molecular Medicine 20 (9): 509–518.
  2. Gilbert, Scott F. 2014. “A Holobiont Birth Narrative: The Epigenetic Transmission of the Human Microbiome.” Frontiers in Genetics 5: Article 282.
  3. Milani, Christian, Sabrina Duranti, Francesca Bottacini, Eoghan Casey, Francesca Turroni, Jennifer Mahony, Clara Belzer, Susana Delgado Palacio, Silvia Arboleya Montes, Leonardo Mancabelli, Gabriele Andrea Lugli, Juan Miguel Rodriguez, Lars Bode, Willem de Vos, Miguel Gueimonde, Abelardo Margolles, Douwe van Sinderen, and Marco Ventura. 2017. “The First Microbial Colonizers of the Human Gut: Composition, Activities, and Health Implications of the Infant Gut Microbiota.” Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 81 (4): e00036–17.
  4. Sampson, Timothy R. and Sarkis K. Mazmanian. 2015. "Control of Brain Development, Function, and Behavior by the Microbiome.” Cell Host and Microbe 17: 565–676.
  5. Yong, Ed. 2016. I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life. New York: Harper Collins