You are a community

August 19, 2012 | By | Reply More

Jonathan Haidt makes a good case that humans are 10% bee–we are ever-seeking the comfort and resources and overarching meaning of life that can only be found as part of a collective.

But peel the onion down deeper and you’ll see that each of us is comprised of a vast community, as discussed by this article at The Economist:

The traditional view is that a human body is a collection of 10 trillion cells which are themselves the products of 23,000 genes. If the revolutionaries are correct, these numbers radically underestimate the truth. For in the nooks and crannies of every human being, and especially in his or her guts, dwells the microbiome: 100 trillion bacteria of several hundred species bearing 3m non-human genes. The biological Robespierres believe these should count, too; that humans are not single organisms, but superorganisms made up of lots of smaller organisms working together. . . .The microbiome does many jobs in exchange for the raw materials and shelter its host provides. One is to feed people more than 10% of their daily calories . . . The microbiome also makes vitamins, notably B2, B12 and folic acid. . . . .The microbiome also maintains the host’s health by keeping hostile interlopers at bay.

 

Check out this article for much more information, including the possibility of a “stool transplant” as a potential fix for deficiencies in one’s microbiome.  I commented on this fascinating topic of the human biome in an earlier post.

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About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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