Scientists Are Studying What Percentage of Cells in Our Bodies Are Not Human (Hint: It's Higher Than You Think)
The former band White Zombie is famous for its song “More Human Than Human,” but it appears that when it comes to how many cells in your body are actually human, "Less Human Than Human" might be more accurate.
Indeed, in both the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, one of the hot topics of research is the human “microbiome” or the communities of microbes that make up a significant portion of the human body. Although the microbiome is currently a popular area of scientific research, the notion that a major portion of our cellular composition is not human is not a recent idea.
With doctors around the country searching for treatment options for the more than one-third of Americans categorized as obese, new research suggests the answer might be hidden inside our bodies: the microbes living in our digestive systems. Bacterial cells outnumber human cells ten to one, with the largest and most diverse populations living in our mouths and large intestines. Numerous studies have investigated the link between obesity and the diversity of bacteria residing in the gut, and while the research is still in early stages, scientists have been intrigued by their findings.