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Scientists Are Learning More And More About The Vast Microbial World Living Inside Us

May 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Journalism professor Michael Pollan recently asked a university laboratory to analyze his personal microbiome – the genetic makeup of the microbial world that lives on and inside his body. The lab found several hundred species of bacteria – whose population totaled around 100 trillion – on his tongue, on his skin, and in his gut. Pollan explores current scientific thinking about these microbes, the vast majority of which are beneficial, and how they interact with us. The basic lesson is that our internal bacteria live in a delicate balance with our bodies, and have a significant impact on our health. Our job is simply to nurture this micro-world, to “tend the unruly garden within”.
Michael Pollan, "Some of My Best Friends Are Germs", The New York Times, May 15, 2013, © The New York Times Company
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