A consortium of scientists has set about mapping the millions of bacteria that live in and on our bodies, keeping us healthy.
Most of the cells in the human body aren’t even human. Indeed, bacterial cells outnumber human cells 10 to 1. Which is why the exploration of the human microbiome — the collective population of all the non-human cells and genes that inhabit us — is currently one of the fastest rising fields of medical research.
Based on the promising advances, researchers at many cancer hospitals are even banking the microbiomes of their cancer patients, who end up losing their helpful bugs during chemotherapy. Patients who receive their microbes back following the treatment tend to recover more quickly than those who don’t, suggesting that the right bacteria are critical for rebuilding and supporting a healthy immune system.
See on healthland.time.com