Killing all microbes
I was recently reading an article in the newspaper about a study by the National Institutes of Health that cataloged over 10,000 species of microbes living on healthy people. The average person carries several pounds worth of microbes, many of which perform essential functions for keeping the body functioning. This suggested a thought experiment: let's say some mad scientist turned germ warfare on its head and developed a chemical agent that instantly killed any microbes with which it came in contact with. Seeing that all higher organisms are dependent on some number of microbes in their system, how long would it take people to die after all the microbes in their body have been killed off? Taking it one step further, what would happen if an entire region of the globe (or even the entire planet) had all of its microbes killed off?
Last edited by Omnis; 16th June 2012 at 04:47 AM.
Reason: wrong wording