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Financial Advice from Germs

For many, the totality of economics can be somewhat unnerving, especially when it comes to personal financial security. We live in a capitalist world driven by free markets and personal investments. Making the right choices with money could mean incredible success, while a mistake could cost someone their future.

There are a number of human financial gurus working to help you become wealthy, and their advice is based on years if not decades of knowledge and experience. However, there are a number of microbial economic geniuses who have centuries of expertise developing 'economic' success. While germs are better known as contagion than counsel, research over the last few decades has revealed that they also can teach us a few things about how to manage our money.

The concept of microbes as models for the financial sector started almost half a century ago. The primary goal was to understand how Salmonella typhimuirum managed to transfer antibiotic resistance from bacteria native to calves to the ones that infect humans. They found that the bacteria were social, sharing both information and assets with others in the calf stomach such that they could gain the tools needed to resist an antibiotic attack. These bacteria then traveled from the farm to the fork. Once ingested, the bacteria would then share resistance to others in the human gut. While incredibly bad for the human, this means of sharing was excellent for the pathogen's survival.

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