From the Editor; June 2012; Scientific American Magazine; by Mariette DiChristina; 1 Page(s)
“No man is an island, entire of itself,” wrote English poet John Donne. Nearly four centuries later science is gaining a fuller appreciation of just how literally true that is.
In addition to the bacteria that can make us sick, researchers have known for a few decades that we play host to friendly microbes as well. They help our body by performing important tasks such as breaking down food components to make them digestible or processing nutrients so we can make use of them. Although the womb is sterile, we start acquiring our microscopic guests the minute we are born.