Tuesday, 10 April 2018

"You're more microbe than you are human."

Scary news from the world of science:
More than half of your body is not human, say scientists.

Human cells make up only 43% of the body's total cell count. The rest are microscopic colonists.

Understanding this hidden half of ourselves - our microbiome - is rapidly transforming understanding of diseases from allergy to Parkinson's.

The field is even asking questions of what it means to be "human" and is leading to new innovative treatments as a result.

"They are essential to your health," says Prof Ruth Ley, the director of the department of microbiome science at the Max Planck Institute, "your body isn't just you".

No matter how well you wash, nearly every nook and cranny of your body is covered in microscopic creatures.

This includes bacteria, viruses, fungi and archaea (organisms originally misclassified as bacteria). The greatest concentration of this microscopic life is in the dark murky depths of our oxygen-deprived bowels.

Prof Rob Knight, from University of California San Diego, said: "You're more microbe than you are human."
Remarkably, this story is actually true.

There is only one song to play in such circumstances, methinks:

I'm only human
Of flesh and blood I'm made.

Or maybe not.


  1. A lot of those 'germs ' keep us alive and well.The scary thing is what most of us are doing to eliminate them.

    1. Just travel by public transport every day - they're soon replenished. Jx

  2. Fascinating stuff and a good track too.

  3. Oh! I've been papped! I knew I should've troweled my slap on (like Mr Oakey) before I popped out to get the paper.


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