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Exploring The Invisible Universe That Lives On Us -- And In Us

Benjamin Arthur for NPR
Benjamin Arthur for NPR
Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Illustration by Benjamin Arthur for NPR
Animation by Benjamin Arthur for NPR
Illustration by Benjamin Arthur for NPR

The next time you look in a mirror, think about this: In many ways you're more microbe than human. There are 10 times more cells from microorganisms like bacteria and fungi in and on our bodies than there are human cells.

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Scientists increasingly think that these microorganisms have a huge influence on our health. Without them, our bodies don't seem to do as well. We don't seem to be as healthy and might actually get sick more often.

But these tiny compatriots are invisible to the naked eye. So we asked artist Ben Arthur to give us a guided tour. Join me as we dive into the rich universe of the human microbiome.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.