Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Human Ecosystem

We've written before about the microbiome and fecal transplants. Carl Zimmer has a great piece in the New York Times about the human body as an ecosystem for microbes and the various ways we interact with them: "How Microbes Defend and Define Us". A snippet:
Some microbes can only survive in one part of the body, while others are more cosmopolitan. And the species found in one person’s body may be missing from another’s. Out of the 500 to 1,000 species of microbes identified in people’s mouths, for example, only about 100 to 200 live in any one person’s mouth at any given moment. Only 13 percent of the species on two people’s hands are the same. Only 17 percent of the species living on one person’s left hand also live on the right one.
Read the whole thing.

[h/t: Why Evolution is True]


Mr Hanky said...

What if you reject the transplant?

CieAura said...

The thing with microbes is that they are present in any part of our body. They can either make or break us.