Body of Germs

June 13, 2012 - 1:18 PM
At left, undated handout image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shows a clump of Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria (green) in the extracellular matrix, which connects cells and tissue, taken with a scanning electron microscope, showing. At right, undated handout image provided by the Agriculture Department showing the bacterium, Enterococcus faecalis, which lives in the human gut, is just one type of microbe that will be studied as part of NIH's Human Microbiome Project. They live on your skin, up your nose, in your gut _ enough bacteria, fungi and other microbes that collected together could weigh, amazingly, a few pounds. Now scientists have mapped just which critters normally live in or on us and where, calculating that healthy people can share their bodies with more than 10,000 species of microbes. (AP Photo/NIAID, Agriculture Department)