Researchers bust myth that our bodies have more bacteria than human cells



A research group from Israel and Canada will make you rethink the popular notion that bacteria and other microbes in our body far outnumber our own cells (10:1). According to their latest research, the ratio between resident microbes and human cells is more likely to be 1:1!

A ‘reference man’ (one who is 70 kilograms, 20–30 years old and 1.7 metres tall) contains on an average about 30 trillion human cells and 39 trillion bacteria, say Ron Milo and Ron Sender at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and Shai Fuchs at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.

Even though these numbers are an approximation and there maybe some who may have half or twice as many bacteria as this reference man, it is still far from the 10:1 ratio of bacteria:cells that is commonly assumed.

Their recently posted manuscript delicately concludes that, “The numbers are similar enough that…

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