Human Body Hosts Tens of Thousands of Germs - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.
Microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and viruses that are living on our body outnumber the human cells by a ratio of 10 to 1, according to studies conducted by the Human Microbiome Project. That’s about 100 trillion invisible living organisms that occupy our bodies from birth to death. “The microbial population is providing some benefit to the human host and in turn the human host is harboring those bacteria and enabling them to replicate and be stable and thrive,” said Phillip Tarr, part of the research team that is hoping to use this data in future disease risk assessments and eventually in disease treatment.
Each of the individual microbes performs a different task in our bodily systems, like digestion or fighting infections. Being able to identify the specific microbe that is common in people who suffer from a disease can lead to more advanced prevention. A study from Cedars Sinai found that Archaea, a microbe that creates methane gas, is more abundant in people who suffer from obesity. Ruchi Mathur, a doctor who participated in the study said, “It is our hope that by better understanding all the factors that contribute to obesity, we can develop more effective ways of fighting it.”