Gut Check: Befriending Bacteria

Jun 4, 2013

There are more bacteria in our bodies than there are human cells: about 10 microbes for every cell!

UConn microbiologist Joerg Graf says “If you took a person and removed all the human cells, you would still see the outline of a human body.”

So what are all these bacteria doing? And are they helping or hurting us?

Michael Pollan’s most recent exploration in the New York Times Magazine looks into humans’ relationships with bacteria and germs. He calls this bodily microbial farm a “second genome” that might hold keys to our health.  And, he’s one of many saying that our obsession with hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial soap may be doing us more harm than good.

Today, we’ll talk to Professor Graf about the bacteria that live in our bodies and in our digestive system. And we’ll hear how you can get involved in mapping your own gut microbiome.