So What are Bacteria Anyway?

Bacteria. Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Lab

Bacteria. Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Lab

I still remember my stunned delight upon learning from world renowned Forest Ecologist Arthur Partridge that every cubic inch of (healthy) forest soil harbors at least 1,000 different species of microbes.

Here’s a stunning review article about bacteria and how they interact with our bodies.

Among other things “Microbes in the human body” describes how bacteria don’t cooperate with our definition of what a “species” is.

Bacteria details (in General) Credit:

Bacteria details (in General) Credit:

How “90% of cells in the human body are bacterial, fungal, or otherwise non-human” (of course they have to be dramatically smaller than our body cells or . . .)

“A broad diversity of bacteria were found at all of the “clean rooms” where NASA spacecraft are assembled and in spite of the highly desiccated, nutrient-bare conditions within.”

“A 2010 analysis of the deepest layer of the Earth’s oceanic crust has revealed a new ecosystem living over a kilometer beneath our feet.”

So fasten your seat belt before reading this article because many things we thought we knew – aren’t true anymore.

Microbes in the human body

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