A An email typ­i­cally pro­duces 4g oof CO2 emis­sions

Focus-Science and Technology - - CONTENTS - RICHARD ASSELIN, OT­TAWA, CANADA ED

For decades, sci­en­tists’ best guess was that the body con­tains 10 times as many bac­te­ria as hu­man cells. How­ever, a team from Is­rael and Canada re­vis­ited the cal­cu­la­tions in 2016 to es­ti­mate that we have a roughly equal num­ber of bac­te­ria and hu­man cells.

They based their cal­cu­la­tions on the fact that most of our bac­te­ria are found in the colon. Us­ing in­for­ma­tion from MRI scans, they cal­cu­lated the colon vol­ume of a ‘ref­er­ence man’. Since there are about 90 bil­lion bac­te­ria per gram of wet stool, they es­ti­mated that there are around 38 tril­lion bac­te­ria in the body, com­pared with 30 tril­lion hu­man cells.

The mi­cro­biome is a hot topic at the mo­ment, and re­search sug­gests the di­ver­sity of our gut bac­te­ria ( pic­tured) could be linked to our men­tal and phys­i­cal health

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