28 April 2023

Hologenomic movie night at Forsknings Døgn

Forskningens Døgn

Forskningens Døgn is a large national annual event with the aim to mediate science and research to a broad Danish audience. Center for Evolutionary Hologenomics participated  by arranging a free public screening of the documentary: The Invisible Extinction including a delicious fermented foods and drinks tasting and a Q&A session with microbe experts.

Panel at movie screening

On April 24 the Center for Evolutionary Hologenomics (CEH) invited the public to a free special screening of the American documentary The Invisible Extinction at the Chr. Hansen Auditorium at Kommunehospitalet in Copenhagen. More than 130 people signed up for the event, including numerous people outside the academic bubble. 

The Invisible Extinction

In The Invisible Extinction the viewer follows two renowned microbiology scientists Marty Blaser and Gloria Dominguez-Bello on a mission to protect and restore the human population’s missing microbes before it is too late. In the documentary it is shown how the overuse of antibiotics and C-sections are destroying the healthy bacteria in our bodies, as well as fueling the rise in obesity, diabetes, asthma, and food allergies. In this way the documentary highlights the staggering power and importance of the microbiome, consisting of the microbes in and on our bodies, very much aligning with the research happening at CEH.

Fermented foods to fight the invisible extinction of our microbes

In accordance with the message of the movie, the audience was informed about the potential of embedding health promoting microbes in their daily diets before watching the documentary - specifically those found in fermented foods. PhD student Ana Cuesta Mate, Postdoc Veronica Sinotte and Laboratory Assistant Julia Geicko showed how the microbial communities can make fermented foods delicious and tasty, and how they can support a healthy microbiome. They served delicious fermented snacks and drinks - including sourdough bread with butter, yoghurt with fermented berries, and kombucha - to the people coming to watch the documentary. This was evidently very much to the enjoyment of everybody as all of the kombucha was finished in 10 minutes.

Fermentation tasting

An engaged and engaging panel of experts

As the movie ended, a panel of experts was ready to answer questions from the audience, and the people in the audience asked a lot of engaging questions. The panel consisted of three microbe experts. The first being Associate Professor Jakob Stokholm from COPSAC (Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood) and UCPH FOOD, who was even featured in the documentary. Jakob investigates, among other things, how the child’s microbiome is shaped during pregnancy and in the early years, as well as how our microbiome can affect our risk of diseases later in life. 

Associate Professor Sandra Breum Andersen from CEH was also part of the panel. Sandra investigates how our microbiome affects our health. She does this by looking at specific bacteria in stomachs, which she grows in artificial organs called organoids. Sandra is also very much into the field of FMT (Faecal Microbiota Transplants) and she explained a lot about this at the event.

The last expert in the panel was Professor and Center Director at CEH Tom Gilbert. Tom leads the first primary research centre in hologenomics in the world, which is dedicated to investigating the essential connection between us and our microorganisms. Tom had the answer to a lot of the questions concerning the bigger picture of the relationship between macro- and microorganisms. The evening was a great success and we hope to plan a similar event in the future.

fermentation team


Communication responsible Christina Lehmkuhl Noer.