We’ve got 10X more bacteria than cells

by Stephanie Chasteen on June 6, 2008

check out this item from Science Daily…

Humans have Ten Times More Bacterial Than Human Cells: How do Microbial Communities Affect Human Health?

ScienceDaily -Jun. 5, 2008 — The number of bacteria living within the body of the average healthy adult human are estimated to outnumber human cells 10 to 1. Changes in these microbial communities may be responsible for digestive disorders, skin diseases, gum disease and even obesity. Despite their vital imporance in human health and disease, these communities residing within us remain largely unstudied and a concerted research effort needs to be made to better understand them, say researchers June 3 at the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Boston.

This is interesting in its own right, but also gives me a chance to point you to my favorite Krulwich on Science episode. Don’t know Krulwich on Science? Check it out. They’re only about 5-10 minutes long and some of the best-produced and entertaining science stories on radio (aside from RadioLab).

So, one of my favorite Krulwich episodes (just 4 minutes of your time!) asks, so, who are we if we’re just microbe hotels? What constitutes you?

Bacteria Outnumber Cells in Human Body

July 1, 2006 · The human body contains 20 times more microbes than it does cells. In fact, a visitor from outer space might think the human race is just one big chain of microbe hotels.

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