Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cool Factoid Of The Day

Caption: Bacteria swimming around on a piece of glass. They outnumber us, by a lot.

Image credit: kaibara87

Courtesy of UMN biology Professor P.Z. Myers, who is more reliably seen at The Panda's Thumb these days:

Let's begin with the most widely known factor: we're mostly bacterial in cell numbers, with about ten times as many bacterial cells as human cells. Most of these are nestled deep in our guts, where they are indispensible. In mammals, they help break down complex polysaccharides which we can then absorb through the wall of the digestive tract — these are compounds that would be simply lost without bacterial assistance.

No Metazoan Is An Island

No, I didn't check to see if this was true. I figure that if a biology professor doesn't know what he's talking about when he's talking about biology, then no one really knows anything.

It's a cool fact, though. We probably wouldn't be able to exist without bacteria in us. And they outnumber us, even in our own bodies.

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