A few days ago, there was a thread about urinary tract infections and someone asked the question, "Where does all this bacteria (that cause our urinary tract infections) come from?"

This morning the Wall Street Journal published an article about the Human Microbiome Project, funded by the National Institutes of Health.

A few highlights:
*Scientists know the body harbors trillions of such microorganisms—indeed, they outnumber human cells 10 to 1.

*Microbes have inhabited people since the beginning of human history, researchers say. "Most of the time we live in harmony" with them," said Eric Green, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. They play critical roles in digestion and other processes important for human survival.
But sometimes, the beneficial relationship breaks down, resulting in disease.

*...there are about 22,000 human genes, the new project found more than eight million genes in the human microbiome—the microorganisms living in or on the human body. It identified more than 10,000 species of microbes.

All the best,