What’s Happening To Our Microbiome: THE INVISIBLE EXTINCTION with Sarah Schenck and Steven Lawrence

Our Miraculous Microbiome Is Under Threat

Our microbiome, the collection of microbes that live in and on our bodies, is under threat. Antibiotics, processed foods, and even stress can disrupt the delicate balance of our gut bacteria, leading to a range of health problems. Problems with our gut microbiome could be factors in the rise of diabetes, obesity, food allergies and even developmental disorders like autism.

We talk with  filmmakers Sarah Schenck and Steven Lawrence about their film The Invisible Extinction. It’s about the threats to our life-supporting microbiome and the scientists racing to save our vanishing microbes before it’s too late.

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Key words: microbiome, biodiversity, documentary, Sarah Schenck, Steven Lawrence, film, podcast, diabetes, obesity, health, autism

The Invisible Extinction

People living in modern societies are experiencing an “Invisible Extinction” of the biodiversity of organisms in our bodies, with serious consequences for our health. And it’s happening even faster than the climate crisis.

In their film The Invisible Extinction, Sarah Schenck and Steven Lawrence follow scientists Gloria Dominguez-Bello and Marty Blaser into places like the Amazonian jungle to find out what is killing our microbes and what we can do about it.

They also talk to researchers in China and Israel, who are on the hunt for cures to common diseases that may be caused by the loss of diversity in our gut microbiome.

About the Filmmakers

Sarah Schenck is a writer, director, and producer who makes films to advance public health. Previous films include Virgin, the comedy Slippery Slope and an episode for the PBS weekly news program “Need to Know,” that focused on childhood obesity.

Steven Lawrence is a producer-director who has been making documentaries for over 30 years, including The Cat Rescuers, winner of the 2018 Hamptons International Film Festival animal rights award. He worked Michael Apted on several films, including The Long Way Home and Married In America and created the Emmy-award winning series Born In The USSR.

Interview Transcript