You are half bacterial

Here’s an interesting tidbit from Wired News: People Are Human-Bacteria Hybrid. According to the article, there are actually more bacteria along for the ride on your body (100 trillion) than you have cells in your body (several trillion). It really doesn’t even make sense to talk about “you” without also including a massive bacterial complement. From your mouth to your bowels to the soles of your feet, germs are a necessary part of you. And now we find out that they outnumber your cell count too.

Just make sure they don’t get the vote.

2 thoughts on “You are half bacterial”

  1. I’m not sure I quite get the math here. If I’ve got several trillion cells and 100 trillion bacteria along for the ride, I’m a darn sight more than half bacterial.

    I think it’s all moot right now because the viruses (should I say ‘virii’ or would that be pretentious?) are ganging up and probably outnumber everything else in my body by an order of magnitude or two.



  2. I was intentionally vague about whether I meant half by volume, mass, or cell count, thereby letting me write a catchy, if completely false, headline. But I can say with some confidence that the contents of your lower colon is one third bacteria by mass and contains a greater cell count in bacteria than your entire body. This constitutes, without exaggeration or abuse of poetic license, a shitload.

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