Thursday, November 11

belly bugs

Back in high school, when I felt I was a budding philosopher, I would ask questions like, "What is the human organism, really, since we depend on millions of bacteria in our intestines?" These bacteria are necessary because they help us digest food, allowing varied diets. Also they make gas, which we use to fart. Clearly, without them we would not be anything close to what we think of as human.

I've given up those mushy questions about "what is an organism?" but I still find the details fascinating. Like this stat from New Scientist: We have more than 500 species of bacteria in our guts, and we each shit out our own weight in bacteria each year.

Another tidbit from the same issue of the magazine: babies born by Caesarian sections suffer more ailments such as eczema and asthma. Researchers say this may be because they're deprived of swallowing helpful bacteria from their mother's birth canal. It's a good thing, I think, we don't remember being born.


Post a Comment

<< Home