You’ll never walk alone

Scientists have identified 182 species of bacteria that regularly live on our skin, and estimate the total number of species of bacteria on our skin numbers around 250.

No need to go “yuck,” though:

“Without good bacteria, the body could not survive,” added Dr. Zhan Gao, a scientist in Blaser’s lab involved in the study.

The researchers noted that microbes in the body actually outnumber human cells 10-to-1.

“Our microbes are actually, in essence, a part of our body,” Blaser said.

“We think that many of the normal organisms are protecting the skin. So that’s why I don’t think it’s a great idea to keep washing all the time because we’re basically washing off one of our defence layers,” Blaser added.

Permanent link to this article:


    • Edward Willett on February 6, 2007 at 5:15 pm
    • Reply

    Good point. Too many people think that all bacteria are germs. Most of the anti-bacterial stuff is just marketing, with no good science behind it.

    My favorite quote from the story is that line about microbes in the body outnumbering human cells 10-1. Bacteria ‘r’ us!

    • Ian H. on February 6, 2007 at 5:01 pm
    • Reply

    Which raises the question of all the anti-biotic and anti-bacterial products we use daily. Are we killing off the 99.9% of bacteria that are beneficial or at least non-harmful and leaving the worst .1% to become immune to our bacterial killing agents? I can understand wiping down surfaces that have had raw meat on them, but do we really need antibacterial pencils or wallpaper?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Easy AdSense Pro by Unreal