Monday, June 8, 2009

Microbes we live with

Mirrored from Aurametrix

Just a few hours after birth, every human being is colonized by more microbes than there are cells in the body. We are home to thousands of species of bacteria, protists, algae, fungi, molds and viruses.

Some of these microbes help us to develop blood vessels in the gut, digest our food and train our immune system. Others make us sick, contributing to skin diseases, body odor, malabsorption, gastrointestinal problems, ear infections and more. Some of such bacteria can be even found in bottled water.

The composition and distribution of microbial populations depend on the age, diet, fitness, genetics, hygiene, and overall state of health of their hosts.

Dr. Bonnie Bassler, of Princeton University, gives an estimate of how many bacteria live on us in her Ted talk, at the 2009 TED Conference. Number of human cells in the average adult = 1 trillion. Number of bacteria cells in association with the average adult = 10 trillion. Even more intriguing, is the number of genes that humans have is about 30,000. How many different bacteria genes are associated with us? 300,000! So, are we human or are we bacteria?

Aurametrix has one the most complete databases of species found on human body and in human food.

Check these sites for more info on our little companions:


finished/draft Total
Bacteria 781/503 1284
Archaea 56/3 59
Eukarya 19/30 49
Plasmids 974/0 974
Viruses 2524/0 2524
All Genomes 4354/536 4890
Genome by Metadata
IMG Statistics
Project Map
Content History

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments :

Post a Comment