You may have heard of our microbiome by now; it is the community of microbes that lives on and inside of us. As genetics techniques have become more sophisticated, it's gotten easier for scientists to learn precisely what species of bacteria we carry around with us, and about how many of them there are. It turns out the cells in our bodies are about 43 percent human, and the rest are microbial.
Importantly, however, the ratio of genes we carry is much different. Because of the levels of cells we have, about 20,000 human genes impact our existence, while there are millions of bacterial cells doing so as well, suggesting we are ignoring a major facet of our physiology. The evidence is mounting that this microbial community, especially the one in our gastrointestinal tract, has a significant impact on our health. Learn more from this topic from the video, an excerpt from a talk by UC San Diego Professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering Rob Knight, and link to the full discussion at the end.