Germs are us

Human beings are inhabited by as many as ten thousand bacterial species; the bacteria living inside us weigh, all told, about three pounds (the same as our brain). These bacteria work constantly on our behalf: they manufacture vitamins and patrol our guts to prevent infections; they help to form and bolster our immune systems, and digest food. Recent research suggests that they may even alter our brain chemistry, thus affecting our moods and behavior; when certain kinds of bacteria are destroyed, conditions like asthma and obesity, may result. Scientists are only just beginning to understand the complexity of the microbiome. Read more…(subscription required to read the full text)

Source: The New Yorker

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