NY Times Article – Talking about bacteria.
Many of us have learned to be fearful of germs and bacteria. Some people are so germphobic that they constantly use hand sanitizers to prevent infection. A NY Times article suggests that by removing harmful bacteria, we are also removing the helpful bacterium which helps protect us. Check out this article
In Good Health? Thank Your 100 Trillion Bacteria
By GINA KOLATA
Published: June 13, 2012
For years, bacteria have had a bad name. They are the cause of infections, of diseases. They are something to be scrubbed away, things to be avoided.
But now researchers have taken a detailed look at another set of bacteria that may play even bigger roles in health and disease: the 100 trillion good bacteria that live in or on the human body.
No one really knew much about them. They are essential for human life, needed to digest food, to synthesize certain vitamins, to form a barricade against disease-causing bacteria. But what do they look like in healthy people, and how much do they vary from person to person?
In a new five-year federal endeavor, the Human Microbiome Project, which has been compared to the Human Genome Project, 200 scientists at 80 institutions sequenced the genetic material of bacteria taken from nearly 250 healthy people.