Posted by: tpsciencefun | May 21, 2012

Bacteria—Friend, Foe or Both??

By a show of hands, “Who thinks all bacteria are  bad?? Who thinks all bacteria  good?  Who thinks some bacteria are bad and some are good?  Where am I going with this questioning??  I am leading up to the fact that there are vastly more good bacteria than bad.  In fact, in the human body alone,  there are more helpful (friendly/good) bacteria than all of our human body’s cells combined!!

To learn more, please read the preview from an article in Scientific American!!!  Interesting food for thought!!

“How Bacteria in Our Bodies Protect Our Health”[Preview]

“Researchers who study the friendly bacteria that live inside all of us are starting to sort out who is in charge — microbes or people?”

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN — May 15, 2012

By Jennifer Ackerman

“Biologists once thought that human beings were physiological islands, entirely capable of regulating their own internal workings.  Our bodies made all the enzymes needed for breaking down food and using its nutrients to power and repair our tissues and organs.  The specialized cells of our immune system taught themselves how to recognize and attack dangerous microbes — (bacteria) — while at the same time sparing our own tissues.

“Over the past 10 years or so, however, researchers have demonstrated that the human body is not such a neatly self-sufficient island after all.  It is more like a complex ecosystem — a social network—containing trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that inhabit our skin,  mouth, intestines and more.  In fact, most of the cells in the human body are not human at all.  Bacterial cells in the human body outnumber human cells 10 to one.  Moreover, this mixed community of microbial cells and the genes they contain, collectively known as the microbiome, does not threaten us but offers vital help with basic physiological processes — from digestion to growth to self-defense.”

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