Monday, February 05, 2007

Guess How Much Bacteria is On Your Arm

You know this planet is crawling with bacteria. Well, not really crawling. But the earth was dominated by bacteria long before us multicellular organisms showed up, and it almost certainly will be long after we’re gone. Bacteria is everywhere. It’s in your gut, on your feet and in your moth right now.

But guess how diverse the bacteria population is on your arm? Through
a post at Wired.com, I learned today that 182 species of bacteria, “a virtual zoo,” is thriving on your arms right now. Most, 54 percent, come from the genera Propionibacteria, Corynebacteria, Staphlococcus and Streptococcus. Sounds horrifying, doesn’t it?

After reading this I wondered how many individual bacteria are on my skin. Not just the number of species. But what’s the population? Well,
a quick visit to Wikipedia reveals that you have about 50 million bacteria per square inch. So that means there are about a bajillion on each of your arms.

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Pound360 Archive

About Me

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.