Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bugs life

I came across this interesting story on the BBC site this morning. It's about bugs, or to be more specific microbes, i.e. bacteria, viruses and other very small critters that live with us; when I say "live with us" I don't just mean hanging around in the same environment but actually on and in our bodies. There are an incredible 10,000 different types of microbes (on average) that live on and within our bodies at any particular time, a positive ecosystem of animals that scrape (sometimes literally) a living from our flesh. Most of these bugs cause no harm at all to us and some have even co-evolved with humans in symbiotic fashion helping with certain chemical tasks that our own cells cannot manage in return for energy or protection. To put the shear number of critters in perspective, when you stand ten times more bacterial cells rise up than human ones, there is even an official project to identify and study them all.

At some point in our lives I'm sure most of us have felt as if we were being exploited by others, now we know.

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