decapod73 asks: Important clarification on your gut microbe story: We have 10,000 different *kinds* of bacteria/fungi/etc in and on our bodies. The actual number of individual microbes is measured in the billions. You have more E. coli (the harmless kind) in your gut than there are people on the planet, and that's just the count of one of the 10,000 species.
» SFB says: Fair point, but doesn’t it seem like it would’ve been clear from the fact that the article said that the microbes took up six pounds? Not to dispute what you’re saying obviously, but those would have to be some pretty big microbes if there were only 10,000 of them split up over six pounds. I guess it just seems like it was pretty clear that it was 10,000 kinds of microbes based on the context it was presented. Either way, it’s edited. — Ernie @ SFB
» It’s not as bad as it sounds. The Human Microbiome Project, funded by the National Institute of Health, found that these bacteria can actually help us fight pathogens — those are the bad guys. This research on benign bacteria may help scientists treat, diagnose and prevent infectious diseases. You can stop washing your hands now. (edit for clarity)
It had started off about the size of her palm, and it grew to cover her whole leg by the time she made it to the [operating room].South Carolina resident Kayla Moon • Discussing her friend Lana Kuykendall’s bout with flesh-eating bacteria. It’s the second such bout of its kind in recent days, after a 24-year-old Georgia resident’s recent zip-line injury caused her to lose parts of her limbs to the disease. (Aimee Copland is staying optimistic, though.) Kuykendall, a new mom, is faring better — after her most recent surgery, the spread of the flesh-eating bacteria seems to have stopped — fortunately. Um … yikes.