Percentage Mulit- v. Uni-Cellular life

Michael Kolotila x3887 mkolotila at
Tue Feb 6 09:56:11 EST 1996

Hi Tim;
In an Annual Review of Microbiology, sometime in the 80's or late 70's if 
my failing memory is correct there was an article by Savage on the 
microbiology of the foot.  In this article (he cites the reference, I 
believe) that humans are made up of 10^13 cells while the bacteria count 
is 10^14.  I am not sure if yeast were included in the microbial count or 
not.  It has been a long since I read the article.  I hope that helps a 

 Michael P. Kolotila, Ph.D.        * e-mail: mkolotila at   
 Biotechnology Program Coordinator *          
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On 6 Feb 1996, Tim Taylor wrote:

> Hi,
> I remember hearing sometime ago that, to a good approximation, all
> life on Earth is bacterial (in terms of numbers of individual
> organisms).
> Is this right, or am I thinking of something else?
> If anyone knows of any approximations of the relative abundance (%) of
> a) Multicellular v. unicellular *species*, and
> b) Multicellular v. unicellular *numbers of individuals*,
> I would be very interested to know. Also, could someone please clear
> up something I am unclear about - are most bacteria, viruses etc.
> actually *cellular* at all? If not, what is the proper term for them?
> Thanks in advance for any help,
> Tim.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Tim Taylor, Department of Artificial Intelligence, University of Edinburgh
>              tel +44-(0)131-650-3084/3081/4493  fax -650-6899
>              home page

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