More than half of the human body is not exactly human, as human cells only account for 43% of the total cells present in a human body. The rest, which are more (57%) belong to bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microorganisms that are housed in our body.
As Professor Rob Night, of the University of California-San Diego, told BBC, “you’re more of a microbe than a human being.” As he said, according to the most recent estimates (accurate measurement is obviously not feasible), the proportion of human-microbial cells is in favor of the second (43% -57%).
Gradually, scientists are beginning to realize for the sake that this “other half” of us, the microbe, plays a key role in health and disease, from allergies to Parkinson’s. This awareness already leads to new healing paths for various diseases. Whether on the body or within it, the microbes abound, although the actual “party” takes place in the human intestine, where their greatest concentration and variety exists.
This means that man is not only a man (or rather not a majority man) nor a genetic viewer since the purely human genome of approximately 20,000 genes will have to add the microbial genome, which raises the number of genes in the human body to two to 20 million!
And while scientists have done a very successful job with vaccines and antibiotics to fight off “bad” microbes, it is becoming increasingly clear that this has devastating side effects for “good” microbes, which – at least at least – explains explosive increase in incidents of allergies and autoimmune diseases.
Not only diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, but even depression, autism or efficacy of anti-cancer drugs seem to be significantly affected by our second self, the microbial. Microbial therapeutic medicine is still in its early stages, but many doctors believe that monitoring and manipulation of the microbe will be a daily routine in the future, revolutionizing medicine.