In case you haven't seen it, The New York Times ran a fascinating article today on the key role microbes play in keeping us healthy. It also features some pretty staggering numbers: One scientist notes that there are more than 10 times as many microbes in our bodies than human cells.
Efforts to better understand the tiny, prolific organism are accelerating. Researchers are busy running experiments on human microbes to figure out exactly what they do, as well as gathering and mapping their DNA, in the hope "they will learn enough about the microbiome to enlist it in the fight against diseases," the article says.
The piece also quotes Stanford "gut expert" David Relman, MD, who comments, "In just the last year, [efforts to learn about the microbiome] really went from a small cottage industry to the big time."