Microbiome Myth Debunked: Counting Bacteria in Our Gut = A New Ratio

19/01/2016 - 3 minutes

As reported in Nature, new data has completely contradicted the universally accepted rule than the number of bacteria within our guts greatly outnumbers the number of our own cells.Why?

weizmann_microbiome_nih_luckey_cells_microbiota_gi_tractThe long standing belief in Biology has been solid on the ratio of Microbes, viruses and human cells within our bodies. However, researchers Ron Milo and Ron Sender at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot (Israel) and Shai Fuchs at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.

This 10:1 ratio of bacteria to human cells actually originated from a Microbiologist, Thomas Luckey, in 1972, and has persisted ever since to be a common belief in even the most literate of scientists.

Concerned over the paradigm this ratio had created within the Biological community (particularly in the emerging field of Microbiomics), in 2014 researchers at  the US NIH decided to flag (as reported in the Boston Globe).

 

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