Friday feces blogging (part 5)

A year or so ago, I bought a new external hard drive for my computer (see photo). I marveled at its storage capacity--1 terabyte! That just seemed to be a huge amount of information. So I almost fell off the exercise bike today when I read a statistic in this month's issue of The Atlantic (free full text here) on the data capacity of human feces. According to Larry Smarr, a computer scientist who views the human body as a ginormous database:
"There are about 100 billion bacteria per gram (of stool). Each bacterium has DNA whose length is typically one to 10 megabases--call it 1 million bytes of information. This means human stool has a data capacity of 100,000 terabytes of information stored per gram."
Now to bring all of this home, you should know that I use 30 gm of stool for the fecal transplant procedure. So if my math is correct, I am instilling 3 million terabytes (or 3 exabytes) of information.That is nothing short of amazing!


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