The following is an editorial summary.
It turns out that we are only 10 percent human: for every human cell that is intrinsic to our body, there are about 10 resident microbes. To the extent that we are bearers of genetic information, more than 99 percent of it is microbial. Out body contains 100s of trillions of microbial bacteria, weighing several pounds, which form a vast, largely uncharted interior wilderness that scientists are just beginning to map. It appears increasingly likely that this “second genome,” as it is sometimes called, exerts an influence on our health as great and possibly even greater than the genes we inherit from our parents.
View the original article here: Some of My Best Friends Are Germs
- Human Microbiome Project website
- “Behind the Cover Story: Michael Pollan on Why Bacteria Aren’t the Enemy,” New York Times (blog)
- “The ecosystem inside you,” The Week