Monday, August 14, 2006

You'll Never Walk Alone

From the Sunday NY Times Magazine comes a fascinating article on whether tummy bugs are what make some people fat**.

Of the trillions and trillions of cells in a typical human body — at least 10 times as many cells in a single individual as there are stars in the Milky Way — only about 1 in 10 is human. The other 90 percent are microbial. These microbes — a term that encompasses all forms of microscopic organisms, including bacteria, fungi, protozoa and a form of life called archaea — exist everywhere. They are found in the ears, nose, mouth, vagina, anus, as well as every inch of skin, especially the armpits, the groin and between the toes. The vast majority are in the gut, which harbors 10 trillion to 100 trillion of them. “Microbes colonize our body surfaces from the moment of our birth,” Gordon said. “They are with us throughout our lives, and at the moment of our death they consume us.”

**Did I ever tell you that I dropped out of Indexing in grad school?

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