Self portrait painted in microbial organisms onto agar jelly in a moulded petri dish. The microbes were collected from 6 different zones of my body and will multiply until the agar jelly dries up.  2017

The total microbial cell count in and on our bodies is 10 times greater than the number of actual human cells. After the gut, there are more microorganisms on the skin than anywhere else in the body.  The average human gut contains between 1 and 2 Kg of bacteria which we need in order to thoroughly process food. They have a major role in maintaining  a healthy body, and very little is known about the symbiotic world of us and them. I know from personal experience that when the relationship goes wrong, the entire body can suffer a wide range of very distressing conditions that range from psychological and emotional to physical. These are some of my friends and some of my enemies, but they are also constituents of me. We are hosts for them, but they are also hosts for us.

microbe close up

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