The Ecosystem Within
When Walt Whitman wrote, “I am large, I contain multitudes,” little did he know the truth behind the metaphor.
Recent science reveals that a hundred trillion microorganisms live in the human body, outnumbering our own cells ten to one. It could legitimately be said that we are more them than us—or that the very idea of our being discrete organisms is fundamentally wrong.
Whichever way you frame it, one thing is indisputable: our bodies are their home.
Scientists working on the federally funded Human Microbiome Project are now in the process of cataloging our tenants, known collectively as our microbiome. More than 10,000 species have been identified so far.
Read more in NRDC’s This Green Life.