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Thursday, February 2, 2006

Barely Human

Posted by on February 2 at 14:14 PM

The November National Geographic magazine published an article explaining that most of your cells aren’t human.

If you had to count all the cells in your body, the vast majority—by a factor of ten—would be microbes. They’re everywhere. They’re on your eyeballs, in your mouth, nose, and ears, and all over your skin.

The article claims we are actually a composite of species, only part human. In a troubling idea, the article notes that we don’t even know the identity of most of these microbes, but if you magnified them they would look like “horror-movie monsters.” In a more positive spin, it claims the human body “is like a complex ecosystem—a biosphere, almost.”

It ends with an idea straight out of science fiction:

What if we discovered that our entire evolution is essentially a side effect of the requirements of the microbes in our guts? Maybe those organisms needed to modify their hosts to be more efficient at finding certain kinds of food for them.

Talk amongst yourselves—you and your microbes.

CommentsRSS icon

Oh God, I'm one of the human-animal hybrids that Bush wants to ban? Nooooo.

So where does the part about being made from dirt or adam's rib come into play?

wow. and appropriately posted by agent scully.

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